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Hall retains IBF bantam belt with technical draw

By James Slater at ringside
Photos: Scott Raven

Stuey Hall retained his IBF bantamweight title with an anti climatic second round technical draw after challenger Martin Ward suffered a nasty cut above his right eye after an accidental clash of heads on Saturday night at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle, UK. The all-North East battle looked like developing into a good action fight after a lively start but the cut was indeed a bad one. Rematch? Hall is now 16-2-2, 7 KOs. Ward is now 18-2-1, 4 KOs. The end came after just 35 seconds of the second round.

Philly slickster “Fast” Eddie Chambers had his UK debut and looked good in stopping a game but vastly outclassed Tomas Mrazek of the Czech Republic. Sporting a muscular physique, Chambers at times enjoyed himself , at other times put real venom into his shots. Way too fast for the 61-bout veteran, Chambers – now trained by Peter Fury – cracked his man to head and body with fast bursts. Mrazek’s left eye was badly swollen but it looked like he might see it to the final bell. Instead, at 2:35 of the sixth and final round, the ref dived in and called a halt. A good workout for the 15-stone 7-pounds Chambers who is now 37-4, 18 KOs. Mrazek is now 9-46-6 with 5 KOs.

Frankie Gavin retained his Commonwealth welterweight title for the fourth time with a wide yet forgettable 12-round UD over Namibia’s Sacky Shikukutu. A battle of southpaws, the action never caught fire. The challenger was wild and he was credited with a knockdown in the 2nd but it seemed Gavin lost his balance – still a count was given. Gavin was soon back to work, making his man miss mostly. Shikukutu was always coming forward but his punches were too clumsy and missed their mark. Gavin won by scores of 119-109, 118-109 and 117-111 and he is now 19-0, 12 KOs, but he needs more impressive showings to win over the fans. Shikukutu is now 18-3-1, 12 KOs.

Unbeaten welterweight prospect Bradley Saunders proved way too much for Mitch Prince, scoring five knockdowns for a very impressive 4th round stoppage win. Saunders almost ended things in the opener, when he put his man down twice. Prince made it out of the round and was game until he was sent to the canvas again and again in the 4th. Saunders is now 9-0, 7 KOs and certainly one to watch. Prince is now 12-3-2.

John Lewis Dickinson stopped the dangerous Neil Dawson in the 10th round of a largely one-sided fight. Defending British cruiserweight champ Dickinson was in control all the way, snapping the challenger’s head back almost constantly with his left jab with a right hand behind it. Dawson did some effective body work but he could not get set to land the bomb he was looking for. This was down to the smart and fast boxing of the champion, who now holds the Lonsdale belt outright. The end came at 2:32 of the 10th when a badly tiring Dawson was driven to the ropes and finally wilted under a barrage of head shots. The stoppage was a good one even though Dawson beat the count. Dickinson is now 15-2, 4 KOs. Dawson falls to 12-3, 5 KOs.

Tonight in Newcastle on the Hall v Ward card at the Metro Radio Arena, unbeaten heavyweight Dave Allen was held to a draw by 1-1 import Piamen Nikolev over four somewhat messy rounds. Allen scored with right hands to the head but Nikolev worked hard and came back after every shot, landing his own work. The draw was a fair result and Allen, who was lazy at times, is now 5-0-1, 3 KOs.




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