Cromer’s Liam Walsh retains European title with points win over Scott Harrison at Wembley Arena
- Credit: PA
Cromer's Liam Walsh retained his WBO European lightweight title at the Wembley Arena after a gruelling points victory over tough Scotsman Scott Harrison.
Walsh suffered a cut above his right eye in the first round, perhaps through an accidental clash of heads, but he was never in trouble against the former two-time world champion.
The fight might well have been over in the penultimate round when Walsh had Harrison in all sorts of trouble on the ropes, but the bell saved the 35-year-old – the relief obvious as one of his cornermen punched the air in a mixture of delight and relief.
Walsh entered the ring flanked by brothers Ryan and Michael, with former British and European lightweight champion Jon Thaxton, who now works with the boxers at Norwich's Kickstop Gym, holding aloft the belt that the two main men were fighting for.
A huge roar went up from the travelling 'Farmy Army' – repeated again as Walsh greeted Harrison with a good left just seconds into the fight. Harrison responded, but Walsh's defence was god throughout the fight, his head and body movement frustrating for Harrison.
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Walsh ended the round with a huge smile across his face – something that would become a feature of the fight.
Walsh worked Harrison's body, but even at 35 the Scot appears to have lost none of his famed toughness, his unforgiving style prompting a number of rebukes from referee Dennis Nelson.
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Walsh was picking his moments behind his jab, and in the eighth and then the ninth looked to be closing in on an early finish – but the fight went all the way and the unanimous decision was took no one by surprise.
'I was cut in the first – I don't think he nutted me, but it seemed we were both rolling and we clipped heads,' said Walsh.
'He was saying in the ring, 'come on, come one, give me some more' and I saw saying the same – it was banter and I was enjoying it.
'I train every day and I love to fight - that might be one of my big problems, I like to fight too much. I should box – that way I wouldn't have three stitches in one eye and one in the other and a hand in ice and a sore body.'