AS controversy abounded in Glasgow boxing circles yesterday following

Monday night's British bantam-weight title fight between Ronnie Carroll

and Joe Kelly, which ended in a draw, there were no real complaints from

the two little men who battled it out over 12 rounds.

Carroll, the favourite, thought he had done enough in the early stages

to get the verdict, while Kelly, who surprised a lot of people with his

performance, felt he should be the newly crowned champion. London

referee Dave Parris, however, could not separate the Glasgow bantams at

the end, although I agree with those who thought Kelly's aggressive

style should have clinched it.

Now, they have it all to do again. And yesterday Tommy Gilmour, who

promoted the fight and is Carroll's manager, announced that he has

contracts signed for a rematch at the St Andrew's Sporting Club on

January 27.

Sanction from the British Boxing Board of Control should be a mere

formality. ''I don't see any problems,'' said Gilmour. ''Ronnie and Joe

were the leading contenders for the vacant title, and, having drawn,

they are both entitled to another shot. I respect the referee's decision

and if he saw it that close then it would have been a shame if one of

them had to lose.''

Carroll and Kelly have been friends as well as rivals for a number of

years and less than an hour after their bruising battle it was good to

see them laughing and joking together. ''Come on, have a drink with us,

Jim,'' said Carroll. ''Joe's paying.''

This was the more acceptable face of boxing, the side which the public

don't see often enough. Nasty snarling and juvenile behaviour, which we

see too often south of the Border, may help sell tickets but does no

favours to a sport which constantly is under heavy criticism. The fact

that the fiercest critics couldn't tell the difference between a boxing

glove and a gum shield should not lull officials of the sport into

thinking that their voices are not listened to in high places.

Ronnie Carroll and Joe Kelly, with their behaviour before, during, and

after a fight which meant so much to them, did more good for boxing than

most of the so-called superstars, who are all too keen to lead with

their mouths in the mistaken assumption that they are giving the public

what they want.

Roll on January 27 when the two little big men from Glasgow will again

earn themselves a tidy little sum -- they deserve it.

Next time, though, I hope there is a clear winner and then we can look

forward to yet another all-Glasgow fight for the title. Waiting in the

wings is current WBC International champion Donnie Hood, who because of

one mistake -- having refused to take part in a return with Carroll

after narrowly outpointing him -- has been snubbed when it comes to

domestic ratings.

Hood, who fights Denver's Vinnie Ponzio at the Hospitality Inn in

Glasgow tomorrow night, is hoping his manager Alex Morrison can get him

a shot at the world title, but it also will be a matter of some personal

pride to him that he is given the chance to sort out who is the

''champion of Glasgow.''

Carroll or Kelly against Hood certainly is a match which would be a

sellout in the city.