SOME people say size matters – others, that quality’s more important than quantity. Scotland’s Garnock Valley ABC had only five members, but all did well – and today all are members of the Scottish EBA, regularly attending meetings. Most successful was light-welterweight Davie Burns, who had over 60 bouts and lost just five – two to his great compatriot, Dick McTaggart MBE (pictured above). And the second verdict was close enough for argument. Throughout his career Davie was never put down, let alone stopped.
He might not have been able to overcome the legendary McTaggart, but in 1965 he stepped in at a day’s notice to replace Dick in an international against Denmark. Dick had to withdraw with a poisoned thumb, and Davie came in against Preben Rasmussen, who had boxed at the Tokyo Olympics the previous year, losing to the fine Ghanaian Eddie Blay (who as a pro fought for the world welterweight title). It was a big ask for Davie (who had to shed six pounds in 18 hours), but he rose to the challenge, dominating the first two rounds and flooring his rival in the last to take a well-earned verdict. As Scotland eventually won the match 6-4, that was a crucial result. Other Scottish winners included future pro champions John McCluskey (fly) and featherweight Ken Buchanan It was a great year for Davie, in fact. In other internationals he scored victories over fighters from England, East Germany, Romania and Switzerland. Though encouraged to go pro, he decided not to – and took up bowls, where he was also very successful.
Subscribe now to keep reading
We're chuffed you’re enjoying our website, but I'm afraid you need to be a subscriber to read this story.
As a subscriber you'll get access to all online content, including weekly issues - you can opt for digital only or print and digital - plus an online archive of weekly digital editions back to January 2012.
You'll also be helping to support our editorial independence so we can continue to get to the heart of the stories that truly matter to you, the reader. Every subscription we secure will go directly to ensuring that Boxing News retains its voice for many years to come.
If you're not ready to subscribe there are plenty of free articles on the site you can enjoy by registering
To enjoy premium content such as this story, and to get the weekly issue you will need to subscribe
Got an account? Sign in