Fraser Edwards landed his fourth Scottish title in less than a minute, and the Elgin Amateur Boxing Club star wants to become an elite level champion in the future
Easier access to your trusted, local news. Have a look at our brand new digital subscription packages!
KEITH boxer Fraser Edwards took less than a minute to land his fourth Scottish title in his first fight in over 18 months.
The Elgin Amateur Boxing Club star won by technical knockout against Livingston's Kieran Coyle in the Boxing Scotland intermediate 69kg final on Saturday in Glasgow.
Edwards (23) had his opponent on a standing count twice within 40 seconds of the start of the bout, forcing the referee to stop the contest and declare the Moray man champion.
It was his second Scottish intermediate title to add to two national novice successes, and now steps up the levels as he targets a Scottish open elite title as his next goal.
Edwards conquered pre-fight butterflies to go on the offensive from the first bell and deliver the swiftest of victories.
"It is definitely the shortest fight I’ve had," he said. "I haven’t had an official time but I reckon it was about 40 seconds. I went into the fight pretty nervous to be honest with it being the first time back in the ring post-Covid.
"It was nerve-wracking but I had a bit of a game plan. I knew I was bigger than the guy and stronger so we had a plan to go out there and lay it on him pretty hard from the get-go.
"That’s how it went, I went straight out to try and land a couple of nice straight shots and make sure he knew who the dominant force was in the ring.
"I managed to get a couple of good shots on him, there was some decent close work and a little exchange between the two of us.
"Then I caught him with a left hook that I could feel it through my glove on to my knuckles, so I thought that must have hurt the poor lad.
"Once I got a couple of those sweet shots, the ref gave him a standing eight count and he was obviously rocked a bit.
"At that point I thought ‘let’s get this finished now’ so I went back in again and about 15 or 20 seconds later I got a second count and the ref called it at that."
Edwards said he is his own worst enemy when it comes to preparing for big fights.
"It’s my own fault but I kind of put a bit of pressure on myself sometimes to win these things, especially with me winning the intermediate title before.
"I build my expectations of myself quite highly when it comes to that, having achieved it already.
"So it was a massive sense of relief to be honest. I would say that all the hard work has paid off, but for 40 seconds worth of work it maybe doesn’t justify that."
Edwards only started boxing five years ago and was unbeaten until his last fight before the Covid lockdown.
At his home Keith show in March 2020 he took on established opponent Jimmy Laing, who fights at the higher elite open class Edwards now moves up to following his latest success.
Laing won the closest of bouts on a 3-2 split decision, leaving the Moray man to taste defeat for the first time - but now he is itching for a rematch.
"That will be a fight that I think we will see again soon (against Jimmy Laing). I should imagine in the next year or so I would be matched with him again at some point.
"That last one was very close and sometimes it goes your way and sometimes it doesn’t so you take it on the chin and move on.
"I'm just chuffed to finally be back in the ring and to win this one."
Fraser now has the chance to emulate his big brother Scott, who won five Scottish heavyweight titles at various levels in recent years.
Scott won two open elite titles and Fraser hopes to get his chance to go for his first next year.
He paid tribute to his Elgin club, who overcame the difficulties of the sporting lockdown to keep their members in shape while they couldn't meet up at weekly training sessions in the Brodie Place gym.
Edwards' strong connection with his club has led him to securing qualifications which can help him coach other boxers.
"I actually did my level 1 coaching badge and I’m going through my PVG to go in the corners as well. It's my way to give something back to the club if they need a hand when somebody else can’t."
He takes a Wednesday beginners class on occasions, as does his girlfriend Megan Gordon, who became Scotland's first female boxer to fight in a Commonwealth event at the Youth Games in the Bahamas, where she won the bronze medal.
Megan's father is Paul 'Ratch' Gordon, who along with Iain Goldie coach the club's up-and-coming boxers, many of who have now fought at national level.
"Without those boys, none of this would have been able to happen," said Edwards. "It’s good for them to be recognised as well, all the boxers would say that.
"The last 18 months have been hard for everybody," he said. "But Elgin Boxing Club is like a massive family and even though we weren’t training at the club we were doing Zoom calls as a team and it gives you a sense of belonging.
"You still felt as if you were with the team even though you were locked in your own house."
Edwards returned to his offshore job this week but will be back for Elgin ABC's home show at Elgin City social club in November, when he takes on his next bout.
Edwards' club mate Scott Montgomery was also fighting for a Scottish intermediate title last weekend at 81kg.
He won his quarter-final on Saturday by a 3-2 split decision but was defeated by the same points margin in the semis.