Ashley Theophane claimed the British Light-welterweight title on Saturday night, dropping and then out-pointing champion Lenny Daws over twelve rounds at Wembley Arena.
Daws had started the fight the brighter and was dictating the action looking comfortable and in control in the first half of the fight. Theophane who has plied his trade all over the world was having trouble getting to grips with Daws’ speed of punch and slick skills.
But Theophane was biding his time in hindsight and although he was landing less shots, it was the accuracy and power of his shots that did land, that were the ones having the effect and what were to lead him to victory and the Lonsdale belt.
The second half of the contest began to see Theophane upping his pace and in the ninth round, he caught Daws who fell heavily and looked like he was too hurt to carry on. But to his credit he rose at the count and continue in defence of his beloved title, that you felt was now slipping from his grasp.
The referee waved a dazed Daws back into action and Theophane without rushing in, using his ring generalship he has picked up in the tough American gyms that he has courted for many a year. He stalked Daws, before having him over again at the end of the round, before the bell went and gave the champion a chance to re-group, but it wasn’t looking good for him.
The remaining rounds saw the bloodied and battered Daws look vulnerable. But the challenger couldn’t finish the fight early and looked like he was now ready to have a good home straight and settle for the win on points. More tense moments came as Theophane shook Daws with body shots and looping right hands before the final bell sounded to end a good competitive British title fight.
Daws looked gutted as the scorecards were tallied up and when the 112-115 – 111-115 and 111-115 were called out, all in the challenger’s favour, Daws gave his congratulations to the new champion.
“I’m very proud to be a champion. Lenny Daws has got great work rate, it threw me off a bit, but as soon I found my groove I started to get him.” said Theophane afterwards.
“When I got the knockdowns, you know I’m not known as a puncher. But I punch harder than my record suggests. But when I hit him and I dropped him, that’s when I knew I had the fight.
“I’ve been boxing since 2003, in American and in Germany and a lot of the British boxing fans don’t really know me but I’m very talented.”
“I had a world title eliminator against Randall Bailey fall through, but you know I’m very proud to have this British title and so it’s onwards and upwards.” added Theophane.