Connor Law and Lewis Benson reach Scottish boxing semi-finals

By Keir MurrayBBC Sport Scotland
Interview: Lewis Benson and Connor Law

Scotland's top two 69kg amateur fighters Connor Law and Lewis Benson progressed to the semi-finals of Boxing Scotland's National Championships at Scotstoun in Glasgow on Sunday.

Law, the reigning champion at the weight, came out top in his last-eight battle with the combative Gary Smith of the Keir Hardie Amateur Boxing Club.

And Lochend ABC's Benson saw off the gutsy challenge of Doonhamers' Dennis Broadhurst in the day's final bout.

Boris Crighton and Stuart Burt won too.

The four will meet in the semi-finals, again at Scotstoun Leisure Centre in Glasgow, on Saturday 15 March.

"We are friends outside the ring, but there are no friends in the desert," joked Law on the prospect of facing Benson, his Scotland team-mate, with both wary of the threat posed by Crighton and Hayfield's Burt.

"I know his style, but he knows mine as well. We train together all the time."

Benson told BBC Scotland: "I need to get through the next round before I can start thinking of the final. I'll start working in the gym again tomorrow."

Crighton (Byron) beat Clydebank Osprey's Martin Harkin, while Burt defeated Mattie Moran (Lochend).

Earlier in the day, at 60kg Glasgow Phoenix and Scotland fighter Charles Flynn was given a fright in his last-eight bout against Drumchapel's Jamie McGuire, but he progressed with a split decision.

Also in the last four are Lewis Paulin (Meadowbank), who beat Josh Sandford (The Barn), Lochend's Kevin Skey, who won his fight with Kingdom's Barry Ritchie on a split decision, and Scotland hopeful Mark McKeown (Keir Hardie), who defeated Martin Buchan (1314).

With Benson having moved up a weight after winning the Scottish and British titles, the 64kg category is full of intrigue.

Commonwealth Games silver medallist Josh Taylor beat his Lochend club-mate, Elias Gear, on a split decision and it was similarly close when Elgin's Andrew Smart edged out Gary Glover (Durie's).

Another Edinburgh boxer, Jason Easton (Craigmillar), beat Steven Beattie (Kilsyth GG) and Danny Lee protege Sam Ball (Greenock) continued to impress as he advanced at the expense of Callum Susans (Dunfermline).

Reece McFadden (Forgewood) and Hayfield's Jack Turner were disqualified in their 52kg bout on Saturday - but, after a successful appeal, they fought again on Sunday, with McFadden the winner.

Also on Saturday there were wins for David Dickson (Lochend) at 56kg, Davis Sexton (Viewpark) and Mark Fairweather (Arbroath) at 75kg, and Kevin Kane (Dennistoun), Grant Quigley (Port Glasgow) and Tommy Philbin (Lochend) at 81kg.

In the 91kg division, the semi-finals will be contested by Craig Russell of Cardenden, East Lothian's Gary Fairgrieve, Cameron New (Renfrewshire) and Hayfield's Stephen Lavelle.

The finals of the tournament will be held in the Emirates Arena in Glasgow on Friday 28 March. There is added incentive for the boxers to win the national belts this year with Commonwealth Games places up for grabs.