Rhys fights back after slow start to beat Western ace

Hawick BCs Rhys Tait, above right, shows his delight at getting a split decision against Wishaws Western District champion Sean Duddy.
Hawick BCs Rhys Tait, above right, shows his delight at getting a split decision against Wishaws Western District champion Sean Duddy.
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Hawick Boxing Club’s Rhys Tait scored a stunning victory over Wishaw’s Western District champion Sean Duddy on Friday night at Chirnside.

This was teenager Tait’s third bout, having won his debut at Hawick in April against another Shire Club fighter before securing his second win at Barrhead a week later.

At the first bell, Duddy started quickly, landing some crisp and accurate shots which kept Tait off balance and left him unable to land any telling shots of his own.

Towards the end of the round, Tait began to find his range and although the first round clearly went to the Wishaw stylist, Tait was very much in the fight.

In the second round Tait produced a gutsy performance and following a prolonged attack from both fighters the Shire youngster blinked first, backed off and spent the rest of the round on the back foot.

Speaking this week, coach Colin Purvis told the Hawick News: “It was game on at this stage. Rhys is always a slow starter, and that’s something we need to work on.

“He clearly lost the first round to Duddy who, before coming into this bout had 
won five of his six bouts and 
is the current Western District title holder but Rhys 
dug deep in the second and at the end of the round was in control.”

The third round was fought at a blistering pace with both lads on the front foot but a solid two-fisted attack saw Tait take control and despite some clever footwork from the Wishaw favourite, Tait clearly did enough to win the final stanza.

Purvis added: “I was confident Rhys had done enough to win and when the ring announcer called a split decision for Rhys everyone was over the moon for him. This was a good win and one which gives an indication of where he is at.

“We may try to match him again in the next week or 
two but if not, he’ll be back at Hawick in September and then we’ll go to the novice championships in October at Ravenscraig.”

Hawick ten-year-old Reece Lambert also featured on the Chirnside bill.

Although he boxed a non-scoring three-way exhibition with youngsters from Chirnside and the Shire he gave a top-class account of himself in front of a large travelling group of family members.

This was good experience for Lambert and follows on from his winning debut at the Hawick show in April. He, along with a handful of club youngsters, will be aiming to feature at Hawick in September before going on to the novice championships in October.

Boxing boot camp, Page 37