DON'T let anyone ever tell me again that Scotland is a haven for our

own fighters, that home town decisions are the norm in Glasgow. In fact,

don't let anyone tell me there is any justice at all in the boxing


Two young Scots, Paul Weir and Drew Docherty, last night stepped into

the Kelvin Hall ring with high hopes of wresting titles from foreign

champions -- but both left the arena without the championship belts and

with bewilderment their only emotion.

In the case of Docherty, who already holds the British bantamweight

championship, there cannot be too strong an argument that he lost in his

fight for the European crown with the Italian Vincenzo Belcastro. It was

one of the best fights seen in the city for a long time, but the margin

of scoring was, quite frankly, baffling.

But in the case of Weir the verdict -- a unanimous points loss -- was

a disgrace. The little man from Irvine had relinquished the WBO

straw-weight title to challenge for the junior flyweight crown held by

Puerto Rico's Josue Camacho and, despite being cut around both eyes, he

looked a clear and comfortable winner.

Unbelievably, two Danish judges and one from America gave it to the

Puerto Rican, who was warned several times for head-butting, the last

bang opening a wicked gash at the side of Weir's right eye at the

beginning of the final round.

Jess Andreasen and Ove Ovesen, both from Denmark, scored the contest


118-111 to the champion, and Frank Brunette of the United States made

it 116-112 to Camacho.

What utter nonsense. I thought that Weir, after having sparred for the

first two rounds, won five on the trot and I gave the champion only

three rounds out of the 12. It is not as if it was aggression that

caught the judges' eyes, because Weir, four inches shorter than the

champion, was the one who wanted to fight -- and fight he did.

Tommy Gilmour, Weir's manager and last night's promoter, immediately

launched a protest with the WBO and will no doubt be pressing hard for a

rematch. Weir himself could only shake his head and say: ''I just don't

believe it -- how could they give it to him? There's no doubt in my mind

that I should be the champion.''

Docherty and Belcastro produced an epic contest and again the verdict

was unanimous against the Scot. Referee Alfred Asaro of France scored it

116-113, Denmark's Knud Jensen made it a ridiculous 118-112, and Pentti

Rautiainen of Finland scored it 117-115.

Docherty put up the fight of his life and feels just a little bit

aggrieved at not getting the verdict. There is little doubt that

Belcastro is a good champion and he certainly came out of Italy to


The champion's style, however, was aggression with not so much

connection in the way of scoring punches. I thought Docherty landed the

cleaner blows throughout the contest, but I would not argue too strongly

about the result, only the margin of defeat.

The Weir case, however, is something different and if the WBO do not

order a rematch then questions must be asked about an organisation which

has come late on the boxing scene and in many quarters still has to gain


Earlier, Davey McHale, from Drymen, ended a frustrating eight-month

lay-off after a cartilage operation when he maintained his unbeaten

record, which now reads nine wins with eight inside the distance.

The super-featherweight showed no ring rust as he walked forward at

the opening bell and knocked out England's J T Kelly after just one

minute and 33 seconds.

Kelly tried a couple of tentative slaps, but 26-year-old McHale walked

through them, took the initiative and floored his man with a vicious

left hook to the body. Kelly never looked like beating the count.

Steve McLevy, who had an outstanding amateur career at

light-welterweight, again impressed in his second professional outing,

defeating the game Kevin McKenzie, of Hartlepool, on points.

At super-middleweight, Willie 'The Mighty'' Quinn from Tranent made it

10 wins from 11 fights when he outpointed the shaven-headed Marvin

O'Brien from Leeds.

Louie Veitch of Preston stopped Peterborough's Ian Bailey in the first

round of a flyweight contest.

Glasgow's Gary Jacobs gave his fellow countrymen every encouragement

when he successfully defended his European welterweight championship in

Paris on Tuesday night and then dashed back to be at the ringside in the

Kelvin Hall.

Jacobs was a comfortable points winner on all three scorecards against

Tek Nkalankete in his second defence of the title at the Palais Des

Sports and is now that bit closer to a dream meeting with the WBC

welterweight champion, Pernell Whitaker, of the United States.

The Scot's manager, Mickey Duff, has already had talks with Whitaker's

promoter, Dan Duva, but much will depend on the appeal a defence against

Jacobs has for American cable network Home Box Office, whose major cash

input makes many of the big fights possible.

''A fight against Whitaker is the one from which Gary has most to

gain, the least to lose. It's the best paid fight out there -- and there

is not a contender in the world who deserves it more than Gary,'' said


''It would be a viable fight for the Americans and Gary would bring

European television cash to the table.''

Jacobs himself wants a crack at Whitaker, because he thinks the

American is the best. ''Of all the champions, Whitaker is the one I

want. But it doesn't matter when it is, whether it is in early summer or

the autumn,'' he said.

Duff believes Whitaker-Jacobs could happen in May or June, but

Whitaker is due to make a mandatory defence of his WBC title, as is

Jacobs of his EBU crown against Italy's Allesandro Duran, beaten last

month by WBO holder, Eamonn Loughran. Therefore, Duff and Jacobs must

weigh up the options if a Whitaker bout were to cut across the Duran


* BRITAIN'S Carl Thompson won the European Boxing Union cruiserweight

title when he knocked out Italian holder Massimiliano Duran in the

eighth round in Ferrara, Italy.

* MICHAEL Carruth, Olympic welterweight champion in Barcelona in 1992,

is turning professional with London promoter Frank Warren. The Dubliner

will make his debut on the undercard of Nigel Benn's WBC

super-middleweight title fight with Henry Wharton at Earls Court on

February 26.

* JEFF Harding will defend his World Boxing Council light-heavyweight

title against No.1 challenger Randall Yonker in Las Vegas on March 4. It

will be the Australian's first defence in almost 15 months.

* AUSTRALIAN junior middleweight Troy Waters is to continue his career

despite being outpointed by WBC champion Simon Brown of Jamaica in a

title bout in Las Vegas last weekend.

Waters said he planned to fight twice before seeking a rematch with

Brown or the previous WBC champion, American Terry Norris, who beat him

in a world title fight last year.

Meanwhile, Norris will have a warm-up fight next month before meeting

Brown on May 7 in Las Vegas. Norris lost the title to Brown last

December, when he was knocked out in the fourth round.