A POLICE officer who was warned he faced death by taking on a former heavy-weight champion in a boxing match has battled his way to a draw.
Detective Constable Steve Livingstone, who had never been in the ring before, took on Tim Witherspoon, despite amateur boxing chiefs telling him he could die in the fight.
But the 41-year-old defied their advice to slug it out in three rounds in the charity match against two-time world champion Witherspoon – who once floored British fighter Frank Bruno.
Steve Livingstone had been warned he could be killed in the fight
DC Livingstone, who serves with Lothian and Borders police, said: “I had the time of my life. It was an amazing experience to box with Tim Witherspoon and I enjoyed every minute of it.
“I lost two stone during training and I definitely intend to continue my boxing as a training regime. I feel honoured to be part of an evening which has raised so much money for charity.
“It was a pleasure to be in the same ring as Mr Witherspoon, who was a fighter I grew up watching, and as a father-of-three it means a lot to do this for a good cause.”
Witherspoon praised his opponent, who escaped the ring uninjured, and said he hoped it would inspire more youngsters to take up the sport.
The 54-year-old said: “He fought hard and showed a lot of spirit. He did a great job and gave me a few good shots. He obviously trained hard and I respect him for that.
“Boxing can get a bad reputation but I hope this shows that young people can gain a lot from the discipline of training. The police do a great job in trying to steer young people away from crime. Boxing is an excellent way to provide that positive alternative.”
Witherspoon praised Livingstone Photo:Gareth Arnol
Amateur Boxing Scotland (ABS), who license amateur boxing events, had warned the novice that the fight was dangerous and called for the Scottish Government to step in to stop the fight.
They likened the event to “sticking up a tent in a car park and letting people beat the hell out of each other.”
But DC Livingstone said: “I felt safe during the entire fight. It couldn’t have been handled better.”
The fight raised money for children’s charities Caudwell Children, which looks after disabled children, and US-based Teddy Atlas Children’s foundation, which provides financial support for families who cannot afford medical care.
Eight officers from Lothian and Borders police took on fighters from the New York and Los Angeles police departments, as well as Witherspoon.
On the night, which was dubbed Battle of the Badges, the Scots force beat their American rivals 3-2.
Deputy Chief Brian McCarthy, who led the US team, praised his boxers.
He said: “It’s great to come here and be part of an event like this with our police colleagues in Scotland. They gave it their all and I’m glad we had the chance to build relations between us.”