14th May 2011
|Prince Arron British lightmiddleweight champ
Manchester’s Prince Arron won the British light-middleweight crown, stopping Kent’s brave champion Sam Webb in the twelfth and final round, in what was a small hall classic at the Medway Park Sports Centre in Gillingham on Friday night.
A true clash of styles produced a cracking fight worthy of the Lonsdale belt that was on the line, but it was the controlled and patient work from Arron that was to eventually prevail and break Webb down who went out on his feet and his shield.
The impressive Arron 23, knocked down Webb in the 5th round, but he got up to drag himself back into the fight and make the Mancunian dig deep to his reserves to finish strong, taking Webb’s title in a fight which lasted a little bit longer than was comfortable. Webb’s bravery to hang in there and gallantly fight back was paid for with a painful flurry of accurate shots and a punishing ending.
In the first half of the fight Webb used great skills to outfox and beat the 6′ 3″ Arron to the punch, taking away the obvious advantages which the ‘Prince’ had over the shorter champion. But the challenger always looked composed and paced himself well enough to come through the work Webb was producing.
Although Webb looked open to a right hand due to how low he holds his own left, his sharp reflexes made it hard for Arron to land a clean shot, but Webb was able to take an early lead.
Then in the fifth a big right from Arron swung the fight in his favor, Webb’s legs buckled as Arron followed up to drop Webb who fell backwards, his legs getting caught under him as he crashed into the ropes and to the canvas.
Webb looked concussed and ready to be taken as he tried desperately to recover his senses, but the sense was that Arron was ready to finish his wounded prey. But roared to survive by the crowd and his sheer guts and championship pride saw him see out the round, now looking like Arron was ready to push his own claims and take control of the fight.
But surprisingly Webb (17-2, 5 KO) recovered very well from the knockdown, he cleared his head and went on to take the initiative away from Arron and matched if not took the next two rounds, but picked up a cut to the top of his head in the eighth as the pendulum again swung to the challengers side. Arron shown a maturity beyond his 23 years, and his early career baptism and the hard fights and knocks he has took, were to be the grace that was to see him stick to his game plan and keep his nerve to grab control of the second half of the fight.
Arron (21-3-1, 4 KO) again had the champion hurt in the ninth when another solid, sickening right hand dipped the knees of Webb who looked ready to be taken out again. But Arron didn’t rush his man, there was no wild swinging, no gung-ho tactics, he took his time, as though he knew his thoughtful approach would eventually prevail.
At times the pair traded and gave each other the verbals like they had a personal grudge but as the fight drew into the final straight, it was Arron who started to connect with constant regularity and at points the punches were too flush and too often and even the hardened of observers were becoming a little squeamish at the thuds that were rocking the bruised head back of Webb.
In the penultimate round, Arron caught Webb with another punishing right hand as the two broke from a clinch, but the ref wrongly ruled it a no knockdown. The momentum was now truly with Arron and he pushed forward looking for the finisher. Webb’s head movement was now a thing of the past and he was an open target, that Arron bared down on. Webb’s refusal to fold in the sauna like atmosphere in the arena, somehow saw him get through the eleventh and he slumped on his stool at the end of the round.
Victor Loughlin a good referee, was giving Webb 30, every chance to try and salvage his British championship belt that he was trying so hard to hold onto. But going into the final session Webb was all but gone, the legs were only barely holding him vertical and a ref with a weaker stomach may have stepped in sooner.
In the last round all the pre-fight ego and bad blood had been beaten out of both men. The taunts and banter had been replaced by respect, as the pair embraced each other to start the session in respectful mood of each others efforts, like only boxers can in the white hot heat of battle.
But this is not a game for sentiment until after the event and Arron soon exchanged embrace for attack and with the composure that he seldom lost throughout the fight, hunted down an exhausted champion for the final time with a barrage of shots that rained down on Webb, who was trapped in the corner, helpless, beaten and ready to go. Then in sync with the referees intervention, the blood stained towel of the brave Webb, flew into the ring from his corner as the impressive Arron put his punches together to force the stoppage at 1:47 of the final round.
Sam Webb was given oxygen in his corner after the fight and after witnessing the bravery and shots he shipped, coming back from knockdowns to be stopped by the hungry challenger who had his number and was determined to make his own domestic title charge.
Webb was seated in his corner for some worrying minutes, but eventually left the ring unaided and went to the hospital afterwards for precautionary checks and we hoped it was only his pride that was dented, in a night that gave boxing fans a fight that will not be forgotten for anyone who witnessed it.
Medway Heavyweight prospect Tom Dallas (15-0, 11 KO), struggled against experienced American Zack Page (21-35-2, 7 KO) and in the end was fortunate to pinch a controversial points decision 77-75 scored by referee Ian John-Lewis.
Dallas who had been impressing of late, had a bad day at the office in-front of his home fans and just couldn’t seem to get his punches off against the Wiley old pro Page, who at times had Dallas hitting air and lumbersome in his approach.
Page, always out of range and constantly moving, used his ring experience to frustrate Dallas whilst nicking in and out to hit the Brit more than he had been in his previous fourteen contests.
In the end Dallas himself seemed dejected in his performance and you felt he would have excepted the loss, but in the end Lewis had seen enough in him to award him the win.
This fight should be enough to send Dallas back to the drawing board and he can only learn from it and if he is to take his career seriously enough to take it onto title level, will need to evaluate his approach in the future as he looks to stay in the current heavyweight mix.
Brian Rose beat Martin Welsh to win the English light middleweight title, via an 8th round TKO.
Crawley’s Ben Jones won the English super-featherweight title against Akaash Bhatia when their contest was stopped in the eighth round following an accidental clash of heads.
The fight under the rules went to the scorecards and the technical point’s decision was awarded to Jones by wide margins by the judges, 79-73 Richie Davies, 78-75 Victor Loughlin, and 79-73 Ian John Lewis.
report and undercard results to follow.
By Chris Maylett
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