Sexton claims tough points win in return to the ring

Sam Sexton preparing for his fight at St Andrew's Hall, Norwich.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Sam Sexton preparing for his fight at St Andrew's Hall, Norwich.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Sam Sexton took the first steps back to joining the upper echelons of the British heavyweight boxing scene with a tough points victory on his return to the ring.

Sexton hasn't fought for 18 months after a back injury which kept him inactive, and the 31-year-old wasn't expecting to set the house on fire on Friday night.

And if Sexton needed any reminder of how tough the fight game is, it came in the shape of Kamil Sokowolski at The Halls in Norwich.

Sexton quickly shook of the ring rust, a quick left rocking Sokowolski in the opening round. His opponent was no push-over, trading jabs and hooks with the home favourite and ensuring if the cobwebs were going to be swept away it would be done the hard way.

Sexton landed a lovely left hook in the third as Sokowolski started to blow and launched a ferocious attack early in the fourth, although he had to ship a left to the chin and finished the round with his left eye swollen.

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With his vision clearly impaired it became a brave rearguard action from Sexton, but with his left jab who working well the scorecard read 57:55 in his favour.

There was a winning return to the ring for Lowestoft's Craig Poxton, a 40:37 winner over Scotland's Michael Stuppart.

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Poxton has been out of the ring since last December because of a hand injury, but looked sharp last night and a return to winning ways will go some way to erasing the memory of his narrow Southern Area super-featherweight title defeat to George Jupp last time out.

Norwich's Zaiphan Morris saw his 100pc record go in his fourth outing when he was held to a draw by Joe Beeden. It was Morris who landed the more eye-catching punches, but Beeden perfomed better than he did the last time they met, in February, when Morris won all four rounds.

Sudbury's Billy Bird bounced back after suffering his first defeat to beat Portsmouth's Liam Griffiths 40-36 in his 12th outing.

It was all played out in front of a good crowd at The Halls and, with Sexton, Bird, Morris and Poxton all in action and the likes of Ryan and Liam Walsh fighting at a higher level, there is little doubt that there is a vibrant Norwich boxing scene.

'Our stable is just getting stronger and stronger,' said Sexton. 'You only have to look at all the different gyms from all over the country who want to come to our gym for sparring. Our gym every weekend now, especially on a Sunday which is usually a sparring day, is manic. Everyone wants to come to the gym - we have a lot of good, different fighters, at lots of different weight categories.

'The local scene is coming on but we need more support. We have some good fighters who can realise British, European even world titles. You have got Nathan Dale ready to be let loose after his hand injury, we have the Walsh boys who are doing fantastic and myself – I am not going to jump too far ahead. I want to win a British title, maybe a Commonwealth or European.

'And at that level of fighting it means we need venues as well. With how well Liam is doing and if Ryan wins the British title next week it would be fantastic to put on a big show, maybe something like the one we did at Carrow Road again.'

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