THE Saturday afternoon clash for two Kings boxers who travelled to Tidworth for the Alive ABC show in Wiltshire on Saturday was a great success for Douglas McVinnie (84kg) and Teignbridge’s favourite fighter, Sonny Dorrian (82kg).  

The call was made at short notice to the teams’ match-maker, Derek Bradley, who has recently upgraded his England Boxing status, re-registering as their experienced volunteer match-maker.

Alive ABC were desperate to match their 84kg Henry McLaughlin, who had a three-bout record, against Douglas, who had not yet entered the ring but he was primed and ready to fight and was by chance available due to his busy NHS work rota.

The match was agreed but a further request to match the club’s popular fighter, Sonny Dorrian, was negotiated as part of the deal to support the Alive ABC show which turned out to be a blessing for the hosts.

Sonny Dorrian, left, with opponent William Jenkins. (Submitted)

‘Finding an opponent who wants to climb in the ring with Sonny is becoming a tricky task as he is on a winning streak of six fights on the trot,’ said Derek. ‘His last opponent had almost double his record.

‘Several clubs with good boxers were not agreeing to fight, holding on to their winning records and leaving Sonny to reach for more experienced boxers.’

The challenge was accepted by Welsh club Apollo’s ABC’s boxer William Jenkins with a record of 16 bouts – 11 wins and five losses. William was a very experienced boxer with a good, solid record who has been competing in three three-minute rounds and expected the same from Sonny. The match was clearly stated at three two-minute rounds as this was unknown territory for the Kings fighter but will be embedded in his forthcoming training agenda. Once agreed, the assisting coach from Frome ABC confirmed this by phone to the team back in Devon.

Sonny’s last fight was against another boxer with a 16-bout record which Sonny fought hard to take the win only two weeks ago.

This short notice to fight is now a formality, with Kings Boxing Academy stepping up to support other clubs to make up the numbers of lost bouts while thrilling the crowd with their boxing skills. Alive ABC had initially 18 bouts but after the weigh-in the host club were unfortunately down to just 13 bouts to impress the home crowd. 

First out for Kings Boxing Academy was Douglas – formerly from Dundee – who was previously out injured for two months, returning to the gym to reclaim his fitness and ring-craft. Douglas and his wife are both NHS radiographers (X-Ray).

The team knew this would be a tough fight due to the experience of the Wiltshire boxer. There was no indication of pre-fight nerves which reflected on the true Scottish fighting spirit of McVinnie, who was focussed on the game-plan as he climbed onto the canvas.

Douglas McVinnie, right, with opponent Henry McLaughlin. (Contributed)

From the first round to the last Douglas was the authoritative boxer, landing thunderous body punches while forcing Henry onto the back foot and neutralising most of the Alive ABC boxers’ attacks. 

This was a fantastic debut win for ‘Doogie’ – as he is affectionately known in the gym – winning every round while following instructions from the assistant coach Becky. 

Next out to represent Teignbridge was ‘Sonny D’, who is growing in popularity with his winning streak boosted by the Mid-Devon Advertiser and social media.

His opponent, William, was unfazed by the Kings Boxing Academy fighters’ no-fear persona despite knowing he was going to be in a hard, tough fight.  

From the first bell both boxers sprang into action with Sonny stalking and pressurising the Welsh boxer, who was a back-foot boxer constantly moving. William was a sharp counter-puncher to which Sonny smartly adjusted, using his skills and physicality to land punches while reducing the counter-punches being returned.  

The rounds were close but the persistent pressure and combinations from the Kings fighter caught the judges’ eye for Sonny to come away with another crowd-pleasing win and a step-up in class.  

‘The team were happy with both results and performances,’ said Derek. ‘We are having to adjust the fighting efforts from boxing skills to almost milling and constant punching to gain the wins which our fitness allows us to match this high-pressure demand.’

Kings Boxing Academy are appealing for a sponsor, builder or roofing company to rescue a section of flat roof which has a serious leak with flowing rain water which is beginning to ruin the woodwork and flooring.

Significant water damage needs repairing at the Kings gym. (Submitted)

Please help to repair or part-fund this challenging situation before the club is forced to close this training area off and start to turn young people away. 

The club is reaching out to the community for support to help this great resource – so far their prayers have not been answered.

Please contact Kings Boxing Academy’s Facebook page, or  visit the club’s website on