Unbeaten Nathan Dale leads a good night for Norwich fighters

Norwich's Nathan Dale maintained his 100pc record after victory over Ryan Hardy – but admitted he was guilty of allowing his heart to rule his head.

Hardy went into the ring at the Epic Centre in Norwich with a six-fight unbeaten record, so something had to give. And while it was Dale who retained the '0' on his record, the 22-year-old admitted he learned another valuable lesson in the ring.

Hardy was not only a difficult opponent who hardly flinched under some of Dale's best punches, but he was awkward – and talkative.

Hardly a round went by without Hardy back-chatting with Dale's corner, or play-acting in Dale's face - and under that sort of provocation Dale admitted he strayed from his game plan in his desire to finish the fight early and wipe the smile off of his opponent's face.

'I shouldn't have let him get to me, but there were times when I did, so while I am happy I won, I am annoyed that I didn't stick to the plan,' said Dale. 'But it is something else I have learned so I will benefit from it.'

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Dale's top-of-the-bill victory was the icing on the cake of a superb night of perfectly-matched boxing – appreciated by a good size crowd.

Light-welterweight Scott Moises set the ball rolling with a 40-36 points victory over Josh Thorne, from Bexleyheath, while Lowestoft's Craig Poxton stepped up a gear to beat Qasim Hussain, from Sheffield, by the same scoreline.

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There was a barnstorming professional debut victory for King's Lynn light-heavyweight Charlie Garrod, who beat Lincoln's Mitch Mitchell 40-36. Garrod had a large following – and he repaid them with a highly-accomplished performance, unleashing some bombs that had Mitchell in trouble.

Sudbury's Billy Bird, who fights out of the Kickstop Gym in Norwich, managed to make it into the ring despite suffering illness overnight.

Trainer Graham Everett admitted they were close to pulling Bird out, but the fight went ahead, and Bird emerged a 40-37 winner against Dan Blackwell, from Trowbridge.

'I was up at 3am and I wasn't well at all,' said Bird. 'I wasn't at my best, but I got through and I won, which is the main thing.'

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