Former British champion Michael Sprott claimed the Prizefighter heavyweight trophy for a second time when he defeated Jason Gavern in the final of the eight man tournament that featured four UK boxers and four from the USA, including ring legend James Toney.
One of the greatest heavyweight’s of all time Larry Holmes was ringside working for Sky TV and taking in the action, the evenings entertainment wasn’t quite Holmes esc, but it was an entertaining night of action and Sprott boxed well behind the jab throughout his three fights to lift the trophy and the £32,000 prize.
Sprott, 38, became the first man to win the heavyweight Prizefighter twice and was presented with the trophy by Holmes. Sprott fully deserved his win, using all his experience to prevail.
The Reading heavyweight beat Matt Skelton to lift the title in 2010 and was too strong in the final for his American opponent Gavern, who had injured an elbow midway through the second round which caused him trouble for the rest of the fight and he couldn’t use his right hand.
Sprott’s fights to win:
Quarter Final: Sprott outpoints Damian Wills
Semi Final: Sprott outpoints Brian Minto
Final: Sprott outpoints Jason Gavern
Sprott had got the better of Damian Wills in the quarter-finals after finally establishing his jab after the American had looked dangerous early on.
The semi-final against Brian Minto promised to be the highlight of the evening and it proved just that, the Reading man going to battle with Minto, trading with the former world title challenger. Sprott began to take over an even fight after Minto ran out of steam, allowing Sprott to take over and take the win.
Minto defeated the UK’s Tom Little in a cracking quarter-final, while in the other quarter-final draw Gavern outpointed Larry Olubamiwo dropping the Londoner early in the first round before going on to take the win in a scrappy encounter.
Gavern then defeated star turn James Toney, outpointing his countryman and former sparring partner in the semis.
Toney, now 45, was in his day one of the best boxers around and will go down in the history books, here he was going through the motions and three rounds are not his game. He is now a million miles away from the Toney of the past, but he still was able to claim the only stoppage of the tournament when he stopped Matt Legg in the third round of the second quarter-final of the night.
In the end it was veteran Sprott who held aloft his latest prize with pride, this true professional of the game and nice guy once again proved you can never write him off.