Jason Booth retained his British super bantamweight title, and added the vacant commonwealth crown to the collection, when an unlucky Matthew Marsh was stopped in the 11th round at the ringside doctor’s request, suffering a nasty deep cut on his right eyelid.
Booth, 32, defending his British title for the third time, in this his 40th fight, is enjoying the Halcyon days of his career at the moment, and now as got a Lonsdale belt to keep, having defended it for the third time.
In an entertaining fight, Marsh, 27, took the fight to Booth from the first bell, landing with good hooks, keeping the Nottingham champion off balance, and beating him to the punch.
Ironically Booth was cut himself in the first round through a clash of heads, but his corner did good work to stem the blood.
With Booth well out of range with his punches, Marsh was keeping the centre of the ring, punishing Booth back and catching Booth coming in; Booth was throwing his own fair share of shots, but just couldn’t find any kind of rhythm.
West Ham’s Marsh, who is was a former holder of this Lonsdale belt, and as also fought at a weight above this at featherweight; looked the stronger in the first half of the fight, outwitting Booth, and looking the boss the action.
Marsh took the first half of the fight, with Booth having sporadic moments of success, but the experienced Booth was always in the fight, having a good 4th round, but getting knocked-down in the 5th didn’t help his cause, although it was more to do with Booth being off balance, than him being hurt, the referee John Keane called it, and gave Booth a count.
By the 7th round both fighters were beginning to feel the pace, with both searching there second wind, the fight became closer and with both fighters not wanting to take a backwards step, the action was at times fierce, with good in fighting from both.
Booth started to change is tactics in the 8th round, looking to create different angles for Marsh, with Marsh starting to look ragged, feeling the pace of the fight, Booth looked to capitalise, coming right back into the fight, trying to make up for the earlier rounds he lost including the 10-8 round.
At the end of a tough 10th, the cut on Marsh started to stream blood into his eye, Jimmy Tibbs did his best at the break, but by the first few punches landed of the 11th round the cut burst open, referee Keane took Marsh to the ringside doctor who shook his head and the fight was waved off.
For Marsh it was a disappointing end to a fight he was winning on the scorecards with just two rounds to go, and although Booth was coming back into the fight, Marsh looked on course to cause an upset.
The humble Booth said afterwards; “It just didn’t work for me tonight, I was flat, but full credit to him, he is a former champion and he gave me a tough fight”
Marsh will surely feel he deserves an immediate rematch given the circumstances to the ending, and the terrific display from him, promoter Frank Maloney said there will defiantly be a rematch, Booth was being lined up to fight for the European title, currently owned by his good friend Rendall Munroe, although he would be vacating it to push on for his world title shot.
So a rematch between Booth and Marsh for all three titles, when the cuts are healed makes perfect sense, and if the rematch is as good as this one, lets get it on Mr Maloney.