Cromer boxer Liam Walsh claims British title

Liam Walsh sends Gary Sykes crashing to the canvas in the opening round of their British title fight

Liam Walsh sends Gary Sykes crashing to the canvas in the opening round of their British title fight. - Credit: PA

Cromer boxer Liam Walsh is the new British super-featherweight champion after an emphatic victory in London on Saturday night.

The 28-year-old beat holder Gary Sykes, from Yorkshire, on points, to add the prestigious belt to his Commonwealth version.

Walsh, with several hundred fans from Cromer and his native Rochdale cheering him on, had Sykes down in the first round, but the 30-year-old holder gritted his teeth and managed to last to the bell. From then it was an uphill battle, and Walsh was always too classy, winning a unanimous decision 118-109, 119-108, 118-111.

'I wasn't overfly fussed that I didn't have him out of there,' he said. 'I just thought I had to calm down a bit, just get back to the boxing and it will come again. I knew I would catch him again, and I did rock him a few times after that.

'I am up close and looking in his eyes and I knew they were hurting him, but what a tough man, he just kept fighting hard. But I knew that is what he would bring.'

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Trainer Graham Everett said: 'To be honest I thought he was superb,' he said. 'From the first round to the last round it was a great performance. It is what has been coming for a long time. It is most probably the best opponent he has faced – he fought a true warrior. He was a real strong man - every time he got hurt he came back, and he did that for 12 rounds.'

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