Norwich boxer Nathan Dale on top of the world
Norwich has a new world champion after a sensational performance by 23-year-old Nathan Dale.
A packed crowd shook St Andrew's Hall to its centuries old foundations as Dale swept aside the challenge of Belgian Bogdan Galaev to claim the vacant IBF Youth Welterweight crown.
'It was sensational,' said Dale as he soaked up the adulation of the crowd. 'I could feel the noise reverberating through my body – I have never felt anything like that before and I thank each and every one of them for their help. It is a dream come true.'
After the usual tentative opening moments, Dale was soon into his rhythm. Dale's pressure was unrelenting and by the end of the fifth, Galaev had had enough, failing to get off his stool, complaining of a shoulder injury.
The crowd erupted – and Norwich had only its second world boxing champion, after Jon Thaxton's 2005 WBF lightweight success.
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'I was always in control – I knew exactly what I was doing,' he said. 'I could have stepped it up.
'I had a couple of rounds to work him out, but he didn't worry me. He wasn't strong, they were feather punches.
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'I was a little surprised when he didn't come out for the sixth, but I am not sure about the injury. I looked over and he was holding his side and I thought, I have got him. (Trainer) Graham (Everett) said the same – it was a body punch and one to the head. He knew it was getting tough and he got off the ride.'
There was title success for stablemate Billy Bird, who stopped Leicester's Simon Henry in the fifth to take the British Masters super-middleweight title, while Norwich's Zaiphan Morris made it two out of two as a pro when he scored a convincing points win over Joe Beedon.