23rd January 2012

Jason Ball with his team and his new belts – pic by Al Stevenson
Jason Ball stopped Steven Harkin in the seventh round to win the vacant British Masters and Central Area belts that were up for grabs at Liverpool’s Olympia on Friday night.

Ball, a former MMA fighter turned boxer from Doncaster, got into the fight as it wore on after Harkin had made a decent start. But Ball began to grow in confidence and began to outwork the tiring and bruised local favourite.

Ball takes control of the fight with his right hand

Ball couldn’t miss Harkin with his right hand throughout the fight and the David Haye lookalike looked better than his record had suggested – now (5-5-1, 4ko) The boxer nicknamed ‘Daddy Cool’ kept to his nickname and out fought Harkin to become a worthy champion on that effort. – You feel with a bit more coaching and a proper training camp, Ball could be force in the light-middleweight British rankings.

An accidental clash of heads in round four, caused a cut on Ball’s eye, but it was kept under control by his corner and he went on to show his superiority. Harkin was in trouble in round five. Midway through the round, Ball with three big rights and Harkin started to look spent.

In round six another combination hurt Harkin, his legs stiffened and he fell to the canvas, Ball had worn Harkin down. He took an eight count, but referee Phil Edwards looked long at Harkin who was cut on his mouth and swollen around his eyes and called the fight off to the delight of Jason Ball, the new Central Area and British Masters light middleweight champion.

Ball sends Harkin to the canvas

Super-flyweight prospect Paul Butler was made to work by Michael Ramabeletsa for a points win over eight rounds, but boxed well against a tricky opponent . 
Butler lands another big right hand on Ramabe

Bristol based South African Ramabeletsa is a better boxer than his record suggests and has had to take most of his fights at short notice.

He was up for the fight and doesn’t see himself as an opponent  for anyone. So Butler had to be switched on and focused in front of his home fans; and he was! – Butler had a steely purposeful momentum to his work, and he was always in control of the fight, although Ramabelesta let him know he was there at times.

Butler was always the stronger of the pair and although his opponent made it difficult at times with his good movement, Butler ran out a clear winner in the end. – Butler is really coming on; this former ABA champion is one to keep an eye on. By the end of the year, kept busy, he could be pushing for a British title.

The British super-flyweight division is ruled domestically by Lee Haskins, who holds the Lonsdale belt and the Commonwealth title. And with just 6 fights, 6 wins it might be at bit soon for Butler. But if Haskins vacates to chase his much deserved world title shot, then Butler could be in the mix, with likes of Don Broadhurst and Liverpool’s Kevin Satchell to light up the super-flyweight division.

Toms lands a big left on Selkirks chin
Joe Selkirk scored a fifth round stoppage of Ryan Toms, but it was a tricky night for Albo, who forced his work at times and couldn’t land cleanly on the wiley Toms. 

Toms right eye had swollen up badly and was obstructing his vision, sufficiently enough for the referee to wave the fight off.

Selkirk looks like another quality boxer to come off the busy Liverpool conveyor belt, and having been out of the ring for a while and only a couple of weeks to train, he wasn’t happy with his performance afterwards, but he got the job done and moves on. It will be interesting to see how far Selkirk can go, he has good skills and needs to keep busy now and could be the next Liverpool star.

Joe Tonks, outpointed Kristian Laight over four rounds in the lightweight division.

Lyndon Newman and Steve Spence drew over four rounds.

It was a good night of boxing at Liverpool’s Olympia!


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