Sam and Jon raise Norwich’s profile

CHRIS LAKEY Boxing has given the beleagured Norwich sport scene a lift as it celebrates the performances of two fighters at opposite ends of their career.Jon Thaxton has successfully defended his British lightweight title for the second time, while up-and-coming heavyweight Sam Sexton is resting following a gruelling but successful outing in the same east London ring.

CHRIS LAKEY

Boxing has given the beleagured Norwich sport scene a lift as it celebrates the performances of two fighters at opposite ends of their career.

Jon Thaxton has successfully defended his British lightweight title for the second time, while up-and-coming heavyweight Sam Sexton is resting following a gruelling but successful outing in the same east London ring.

"It's been a good time for the gym, with a couple, of high profile wins, especially at a time when the two biggest teams, the football team and North Walsham rugby team, have lost their managers," said trainer Graham Everett.

Sexton made it six wins out of six when he beat the difficult Luke Simpkin at York Hall, Bethnal Green, at the weekend. Sexton survived a flash knock-down in the second to maintain his 100pc record, although for Everett it was all about moving around the learning curve for the 23-year-old.

"There was a fair bit of pressure on Sam," said Everett, who was also in the corner when Thaxton finished off Dave Stewart in the final round of their British title showdown.

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"He was fighting under Frank Warren's promotion for the first time and he was also fighting for the first time in seven months after breaking his hand - and the fight was on TV.

"Stewart is a difficult opponent who came straight out like a steam train, but Sam kept his head and deserved to win.

"It was a flash knockdown and didn't do any real harm, Sam showed good composure and he will learn from it all. He ticked a few boxes on the night and he's earned his week off."

Sexton took the honours in the fifth round of six because of a cut over Simpkin's right eye, caused by a big left, which needed 13 stitches.

"I know Sam can box a lot better but take everything into account and I'm pleased with his performance," added Everett. "Sam himself says he didn't throw the right hand enough, but that was perhaps a confidence issue following on from breaking it.

"He said he didn't have any problem with it so that's a good sign and will give him more confidence the next time he goes into the ring.

"You look at the bigger picture and a fight like this has helped him a lot."

Sexton has been given the week off, but is expected to be back in the ring possibly before the end of the year and if not then definitely in the early part of January.