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Boxing: Rich pickings now for golden glove ace Muncie.

Byline: BY BRIAN DONALD

BRITISH Champion Richard Muncie has a new nickname - the Walkover Kid The 17-year-old Granite City Boxing Club flyweight battled his way to gold medal glory and a British Four Nations Title in his native Aberdeen last month.

And it was as much a triumph over frustration as it was a win over Irish opponent Jason Coburn according to club boss David McAlister.

He said: 'Over the past few years so many guys have withdrawn from northern and Scottish national youth championships rather than square up to Richard' It's frustrating for Richard because all he wants to do is fight.'

McAlister reckons the quality of the English and Irish ring rivals his protege had to beat to grab his British gold medal proves he's talking sense.

He said: 'In his Four Nations semi Richard faced English slugger Adam Whitfield and had him on the back foot for most of the scrap with his left jab and solid right hands.

'Whitfield was a come-forward type but Muncie kept his cool and calmly out-boxed the Englishman to win 13-10'In the final Richard faced an entirely different prospect in Irishman Jason Coburn.

'Coburn was a cagey, technical boxer but Muncie beat him at his own game, out-jabbing him to win 10-6 and take the gold.

'All the decent boxers have to have this ability to switch styles that Richard is blessed with.'

Muncie has another skill which sets him above the rest according to his coach.

McAlister added: 'You can tell a lot about a boxer by how he handles a tough defeat I knew Muncie would win a major tournament like the Four Nations one day after watching him against Forgewood's Steven Smith in Dalmellington a while back.

'Richard was soundly beaten that night but in the return he proved, like all good fighters, that he had learned from the defeat by winning convincingly.

'Two other things make Richard's feat of winning a British flyweight gold extra special - apart from triumphing despite a lack of fights due to guys giving him a bodyswerve in domestic championship bouts.

'Firstly, he currently weighs barely eight stone but when he first came to us as a skinny, spotty four-stone 13-year-old you would never have thought one day this same kid would become a feared and respected gold medallist.

'Similarly, when you consider that Richard - and all my other boxers - have to train, spar and learn in an old corrugated iron former Scout hut, in very basic conditions, then what Muncie has done is even more remarkable.

'But mark my words - we're all going to hear a lot more about Richard Muncie over the next few years.

'This title will act as the perfect springboard for the next Junior Commonwealth Games, with the long-term goal being the Senior Commonwealth Games in 2010. And he can do well at both.

'Just look at his record. He's already proved he has the class to progress year-on-year at international level - winning Four Nations bronze in 2003, silver in 2004 and now gold in 2005. The facts speak for themselves

CAPTION(S):

ON THE ATTACK: Richard's victory; at Four Nations was no fluke
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jun 15, 2005
Words:526
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