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Brawley back in the title hunt

CIARAN SHANKS

Former Prizefighter champion Ryan Brawley is back in the title hunt after victory in his first fight for five years.

The Irvine fighter (17-1, 1 KO) picked up a wide points win against light-middleweight Casey Blair (3-18) at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow last night.

And the old magic was still there from the 30-year-old who quit the fight game after being plagued with injuries.

Brawley is now building towards a Commonwealth super-lightweight title tilt after returning to winning ways.

Nerves were only natural for Brawley - who fought in front of guests including Line of Duty's Martin Compston and Gary:Tank Commander star Greg McHugh - in the opening stages, but he soon found his feet towards the end of the first round.

It was all systems go from the second, however, as Brawley showed uncharacteristic aggression, stinging Blair with four and five punch combinations.

Brawley's timing was inch perfect and made the Northern Irishman pay with every mistake.

Most of the action came in the third as Blair, 36, tried to pile on the pressure.

But it was to no avail as Brawley - the 2009 Prizefighter lightweight champion - continued to pepper him as well as landing a tasty counter right hook which Blair resentfully acknowledged.

Brawley - now trained under the watchful eye of Joe Affleck (son of Still Game star, Rab) - oozed class in the last round showing lightning fast hands to bamboozle Blair.

Referee Darren Maxwell's scorecard reflected the performance as Brawley ran out a 40-36 winner.

Inverness favourite Andrew Mackay (6-1, 1 KO) - normally a lightweight - topped the Saltire Boxing show against game Bulgarian Angel Emilov (5-10, 3 KOs) at 147lbs.

And he certainly didn't have it his own way as Emilov dragged Mackay into the trenches for a six-round slog.

Mackay, 24, ditched his boxing in favour of trading with the 31-year-old across the squared circle.

But although he visibly gassed towards the end, Mackay did enough to edge it 58-57 on Kevin McIntyre's card.

Paisley novice Shaun Dick (1-1) was left shattered after suffering a heavy defeat at the hands of unfancied journeyman Ivailo Boyanov (3-6-1, 1 KO)

The Bulgarian super-lightweight came out swinging and immediately caught Dick - a serving Corporal with The Royal Regiment of Scotland - with a thunderous left hook that sent him reeling.

Boyanov continued to lay it on Dick who was sent crumpling to the canvas with a wicked right hand.

The 31-year-old took a repeated beating much to the horror of the crowd before referee Maxwell
eventually stepped in to save Dick in the opening round.

Elsewhere, Glasgow welterweight Craig McIntyre moved to (4-0, 1 KO) with a 40-37 points win over William Warburton (22-102, 3 KOs).

Scottish heavyweight veteran Ian Millarvie was supposed to make a shock return on the show - after a near 10-year absence.

But he is now tipped to fight at the next St Andrew's Sporting Club show on November 24.

November 6, 2016