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15 DECEMBER 2017

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Sexton beats Cornish to win the British Heavyweight Championship


Sam Sexton is the new British Heavyweight Champion, outpointing Gary Cornish over twelve rounds in Edinburgh on Saturday night. It was a largely forgettable and disappointing fight, the highlights of which could probably be condensed into a sixty second clip, but the Lonsdale belt deservingly belongs to Norwich’s Sexton. Cornish was bidding to become Scotland’s first ever British Champion but aside from a right hand that rocked Sexton in the fifth round he produced very little of note and will look back on this performance and wonder if he could have done a whole lot more to realise his dream. Cornish was cut over his eye, ear and nose and was also lucky to escape without a point deduction after a blatant knee to the groin during the clinch in what can only be described as a scrappy, dour fight. Sexton landed the better shots throughout a messy, gritty affair and had Cornish wobbled in round nine with a huge right hand counter shot.

With the likes of Nathan Gorman, Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce on the rise you have to wonder how long the belt will stay in Norwich but tonight Sexton has his moment and nobody can deny that he was the rightful winner.

Scorecards read: 114-116, 113-116,114-115

 

Stephen Simmons defeated Simon Barclay over twelve to win the vacant IBF European Cruiserweight Championship. Barclay landed the better shots in the fight, bruising and swelling the face of Simmons, but the Scottish fighter was the busier from bell to bell, winning the numbers game and pulled away later in the contest to secure a decisive victory. It wasn’t the best of bouts but Barclay gave a good account of himself considering he took this fight at short notice, after Matty Askin had pulled out through injury. Simmons will now wait for Askin to heal before they clash for the British title whilst Barclay will go back to the drawing board and then come again. Given a full training camp this fight could have had a different result, Barclay tired down the stretch and wasn’t able to maintain his eye-catching punch selection whilst Simmons maintained his relentless pressure, albeit unspectacular.

Scorecards read: 111-118, 109-119, 112-116 (the 109-119 score is again ridiculous scoring)

 

Stephen Tiffney made an impressive step up in levels as he outpointed the veteran Troy James over ten rounds in the Featherweight division. James, only stopped once, in now four defeats, by Liam Walsh, was his usual awkward self in the earlier stages and made it difficult for Tiffney but the Edinburgh fighter stuck to his task manfully and got the job done. Tiffney threw good combinations to body and head and constantly walked his opponent down, keeping a tight guard whilst demonstrating real composure for only his eighth professional fight. James relies on his upper body elusiveness as a defense but as the fight wore on that evaporated and Tiffney was able to take full control, showing that he is ready to start mixing at British level. James was momentarily stunned by a clean right hand in the sixth and had his legs stiffened a few times more by solid body work but he proved his toughness to take Tiffney the distance, a career best for the MTK fighter who had only been four rounds previously. Tiffney and his team perhaps need to tone down the switch hitting, he changes stance far too often and it occasionally interferes with his rhythm, but he has plenty of maturity and will be looking at a big 2018. Referee scored it 98-92

 

Tommy Philbin and Rhys Pagan produced a toe to toe classic for the Celtic Super Middleweight Championship, Philbin winning a unanimous decision

Scorecards read: 96-95, 98-93, 96-95. The 98-93 card is not a fair reflection on the fight, Pagan could arguably have been declared the winner, it was nip and tuck.

It was a real war of attrition as both men stood in the phonebox for the entire ten rounds and just slugged it out, unwilling to take a backward step and allow the other to take control of the bout. Philbin started like a house on fire and tried to bomb Pagan out of there but soon he found that his foe was not going anywhere in a hurry. Each round seemed to follow the same pattern as Philbin started brightly but was soon answered back by Pagan and put on the defensive, each man pushed to their limits mentally and physically. Philbin started to push his punches and walked straight into an impressive combination from Pagan late on but neither man had enough power in their arsenal to truly dent the other. The exhaustion was clear and evident by the final bell and those at ringside were split in their opinions as to who they believed had nicked it. Philbin needs to work on his head movement, he is far too easy to hit, but he is a work in progress and remains undefeated at 10-0. A re-match between the two would be fantastic somewhere in the future.

 

Paddy Barnes went 4-0 as a professional with a comfortable six round decision over Peru’s Juan Hinostroza, contested at Bantamweight. Barnes, a two time Olympic medalist, was always in control of the bout and scored a second round knockdown to add the icing to the cake. There was a few defensive lapses from Barnes but some of that was due to his opponent not offering too much in the way of a threat, expect bigger and better from the Irishman as the opposition improves. Barnes displayed a more aggressive style than what we have previously seen from him and it was a left hook to the body, left to the head and then an inside right hook that caused the Madrid based fight to touch the mat. There was plenty of impressive bodywork during the bout and there was a few times Hinostroza looked destined to wilt but he proved his grit to go the distance. Barnes will defend his WBO Euro Flyweight belt on the Carl Frampton undercard on November 18th so there will be a harder test for him then.




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