Norwich boxer Danny McIntosh is European champion
Norwich fighter Danny McIntosh is happy to bask in triumph after becoming European light-heavyweight champion in Paris.
The 30-year-old produced a dramatic 11th round stoppage of Frenchman Thierry Karl on Saturday to nail the EBU title and – as his manager John Ingle suggested before the fight – put him in line for some serious opportunities in the coming months.
But for now, McIntosh is glad to add the continental belt to his English title – after only 14 professional fights and just one defeat, to Nathan Cleverly 18 months ago.
'It's unbelievable, it's like a dream,' said McIntosh. 'It has all come so quickly. I usually have a 10 to 12-week training plan, and for this I've had three weeks to take it all on board, headed to France, and I've now got my title. It panned out very well considering, and I had 'flu over Christmas. But I got the call, went straight up to Sheffield.
'He was a very tough guy. He'd had more knockouts than I had fights, and going there on his own turf, it was daunting – but I got my job done.'
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McInotsh, who had never been beyond seven rounds before, stuck to his task supremely well against his big hitting opponent who edged most of the exchanges. In fact, the Norwich fighter was deducted a point in the eighth round after flooring his opponent with a left hook instead of touching gloves after the break.
McIntosh took his hits, showed signs of promise by hitting Karl with a host of right-handers in the 10th and then finished the job one round later as he sent the Frenchman to the Palais des sports Marcel Cerdan canvas with a final furious flurry.
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'I just felt so fresh for it being 11th round,' said McIntosh. 'I could've done the 12 quite easily but I'm glad I didn't have to. I knew it would have been close on the scorecards if it had gone down to points, so I was planning to try and knock him out and luckily it came together in the 11th.'
Ingle has made noises about an eventual world title shot for his fighter, while a Commonwealth title bout with Tony Bellew could be a distinct possibility for McIntosh – who admitted he would 'definitely' fancy his next fight to be in his home city.
'A world title – that's something else; just winning the European title is a dream in itself,' said McIntosh. 'I'm going to wallow in that for the minute and then take it as it comes. John is probably looking at a defence of this first and then we'll see how it goes. Apart from that I don't know what the future holds.'