Sam Sexton turns up the heat at Norwich show

Action from The Halls as Ryan Walsh, left, takes on Craig Poxton in an exhibition bout. Pictures: AN

Action from The Halls as Ryan Walsh, left, takes on Craig Poxton in an exhibition bout. Pictures: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Sam Sexton turned up the heat in his bid to rejoin the upper echelons of the British heavyweight ranks last night.

Trainer Graham Everett had promised a sharper, more accurate performance from the 31-year-old – and he delivered at The Halls, in Norwich.

Sexton was a 60:54 points winner against Czech Republic's Tomas Mrazek – that it wasn't finished earlier than when the bell rang at the end of the sixth round was due in no small part to the Czech's resistance to a series of body shots that would have floored many a lesser man.

Sexton landed them in combinations, to the left, to the right, and a few straight down the middle which sapped Mrazek's strength.

He opened the second round with a double jab that rocked Mrazek on to his heels. A double right to the head did pretty much the same as Sexton continued his masterclass. Mrazek struggled back to his corner and from then on knew he was in need of some of his best rearguard actions – somehow he managed to hang on.


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Mrazek was game, of that there was little doubt – and that is probably just what Sexton needed. His last outing, in September, was his first for 18 months and whilst early wins are more than acceptable, Sexton will be happy to get good, ring minutes under his belt. There was never any doubt that Sexton's arm would be raised in triumph - the big question now is simply how far his comeback can take him.

While Sexton prospered, there was disappointment for Lowestoft's Craig Poxton, who was hoping to have his second fight back since hand surgery, but opponent Jamie Quinn was rushed to hospital on Thursday night. It left no time to find a replacement, so British featherweight champion Ryan Walsh stepped in for a six-round exhibition fight.

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It was well received by the crowd and later, Walsh joined twin brother Liam, the British super-featherweight champion in the ring, showing off their belts and, at the same time, raising funds for local charity, the Hamlet Centre, proving, if anything, that clouds do have silver linings. For the Norwich charity, it was to the tune of more than £700 as fight fans showed their generosity.

Meanwhile, there was a certain familiarity about the contest between Billy Bird and Norwich's Duane Green, stablemates at the city's Kickstop Gym.

But exhibition or friendly it wasn't, with four good rounds between two pals still going on to their official records. With pride at stake, Bird, from Sudbury, was not in a generous mood, landing some sweet right-hand bombs, dominating the final two rounds of a well-contested four-round fight to run out a comfortable 40:36 winner.

Norwich super-featherweight Zaiphan Morris went some way to erasing the memory of his last-fight draw with a win over Russ Midgley, from Leeds, by 40 points to 37.

Morris was always in control, particularly in the second round of the four, when he landed a series of blows to head and body in quick succession.

Midgley shook his head when the punches landed, but his bravado helped little as Morris deservedly took his record to four wins, one draw and no losses.

The final fight of the night saw Clacton's super-welterweight Joe Hurn claim the BPA Classic Challenge title 78-74 on points after a bloody eight-round battle with Marcus Le Doux, from Stoke.

Hurn had his opponent down in the first round, and launched a vicious attack in the fourth before finally putting his man on the canvas for a second time in the sixth round.

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