Quality display from Sam Sexton – and the Essex boys get in on the act at Norwich show
- Credit: Archant Norfolk
Norwich fight fans turned out in force again last night – and were rewarded with an impressive display of strength from home fighters.
A healthy crowd, supplemented by dozens who had come up from Essex, packed out the ancient St Andrew's Hall venue.
Highlight of the night was arguably the performance of heavyweight Sam Sexton, who backed up his claims for a shot at the British title with a comfortable victory over Hungarian Peter Erdos.
The Norwich boxer was in control from the start – Erdos shook his head after each barrage of shots, but the suggestion he wasn't feeling the pain was clearly just bravado.
Sexton was dominant – the jab powerful and accurate and landing all over Erdos' body.
The Hungarian's right eye was closing, his nose bloodied and 47 seconds into the fourth round it was all over, Sexton landing a big right, Erdos turning away – and seeing the cornerman's towel flying over his shoulder into the ring.
Sexton is on something of a comeback trail after a troublesome couple of years, but with three wins in the space of six months have seen an escalating improvement in quality – this was as good as he has looked for some time.
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The popular Zaiphan Morris produced some of his best boxing against Ben Mulligan. After the traditional cat and mouse opening round, Morris rocked Mulligan with a nice uppercut and a big right had the Northern Irishman in all sorts of trouble. He managed to last the round, but another right at the end of the third only confirmed Morris' domination.
An early stoppage was on the cards but over-enthusiasm can prompt accidents and Morris remained patient, affirming his superiority.
Morris' big looping rights – and there were plenty - were his main weapon, but Mulligan was equal to them.
The 31-year-old was a little more eager for the stoppage in the sixth and final round. It didn't come, but Morris was a worthy and convincing 60:54 winner.
Billy Bird was another convincing winner, the only surprise was that Bulgarian Antonio Petrov managed to get through four rounds.
He was saved by the bell at the end of the second as his legs turned to jelly after a sustained assault, but somehow his body managed to absorb the blows.
What wasn't surprising was that Bird, from Sudbury, was a 40:36 winner.
Joe Hurn destroyed Arturs Iljins inside a round with a stunning display of body punching.
Iljins had come out all guns blazing, fencing the Colchester man in a corner. The swift opening prompted a big smile from Hurn, who was clearly delighted that battle lines had been established – and then responded in kind, pinning Iljins in his own corner and after one minutes and 10 seconds, felling him with some vicious body punches to which the Latvian had no answer.
Colchester's Ryan Frost had an unwelcome opening round in the pro ranks when he was put on the canvas, but he soon warmed to the task to claim a 40:38 win over Ali Wyatt, from Torquay.
Frost, with a big following from Essex, showed good accuracy, almost lifting Wyatt off his feet with a crunching body shot in the second.
London flyweight Prince Patel took on Spanish visitor Juan Hinostroza – and the Norwich crowd took to the overseas man straight away. Their support was confirmed in the final round when Patel was felled twice and went to the lengths of deliberately spitting out his gumshield.
It won him few friends – and the Norwich boxing crowd showed their displeasure with a chorus of boos when the contest was called a 38:38 draw.
Light-welterweight Alan Ratibb, another of the Colchester fighters, had a good debut, beating Danny Donchev 40:36.