Robson gets split verdict and spot in semi-final

Tom Robson is declared the winner
Tom Robson is declared the winner

Hawick heavyweight Tom Robson booked a spot semi-finals of the Scottish Championships amidst scenes of high drama in Motherwell last weekend.

Eight of Scotland’s top heavyweights contested the four quarter-finals with Robson, who was having his fifth bout for the Hawick club, drawing East Lothian’s Gary Fairgrieve, who with 18 contests was the more experienced of the pair.

The first round was a cagey affair with both boxers looking for openings. Fairgrieve scored with some crisp jabs but Robson quickly gained his respect with a good solid double jab and constant front foot pressure.

The first round ended evenly and that’s when the real drama started.

After the 60 second break Fairgrieve appeared to slip on the canvas and at this point it was discovered that the ring boards were separating. After a break of five minutes the decision was taken to transfer fighters, cornermen, judges, doctors and officials to the smaller ring 10m away which had been used earlier on for the youth preliminaries.

Robson quickly capitalised on the smaller ring and piled the pressure on. He caught the East Lothian fighter with a good left hook followed by a crunching right hand which had Fairgrieve firmly on the back foot.

And if the crowd thought the drama of the day was over, they were in for more suspense.

Halfway through round two, both fighters clashed heads and within seconds blood was streaming down Fairgrieve’s face. The referee called a halt, examined the cut and asked for the ringside doctor to examine the injury. The doctor took a brief look at the cut and despite protestations from Fairgrieve, he called a halt to the bout.

Because the head clash was deemed accidental, the decision went to the judges scorecards and Robson was awarded the bout on a split-decision. Robson now faces Scottish internationalist Connal McDonald in the semi-finals on March 7.

Speaking to the Hawick News this week, coach Gareth Walker said: “Tom boxed to plan. We knew what he had to do against a much more experienced and well respected opponent. Everyone at the club is delighted for Tom. He is dedicated and works hard and fully deserves any success.”