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Boxing: Goodings wins derby battle to claim English crown
2:49pm Sunday 20th October 2013 in Sport
SUNDERLAND'S Kirk Goodings is the new English lightweight champion after coming through a tremendous ten-round tussle against Middlesbrough’s Paul Truscott to claim the vacant title.
On Saturday night at Houghton-le-Spring’s Rainton Meadows Arena, Goodings emerged a unanimous points victor over his North-East rival, with the judges’ wide scores of 99-91, 99-91 and 99-92 not truly reflecting the intensity of the battle.
Truscott, 27, a former Commonwealth featherweight champion, had only lost four of his 23 previous fights and entered the contest the more experienced man. Goodings, 24, with nine wins from ten outings, was banking on being the fresher man – and so it proved.
The Wearsider came out fast in the opener and seemed unable to miss with right hands over the top.
Truscott, meanwhile, appeared content to get into a war, rather than rely on his renowned boxing skills, and the pattern was set for much of the contest.
The pair went toe-to-toe in the second, with the Mackem returning to his corner cut over the right eye after a clash of heads, while in the third session the Tees man dug in accurate uppercuts and worked well to Goodings’ body.
In the fourth they exchanged jabs and hooks, with the pace of the contest never letting up. The action continued to ebb and flow, with many of the middle rounds close, but even though much of Truscott’s work was quality he was being outworked by Goodings who rarely stopped throwing punches.
A big right hand from Truscott had spray flying off his opponent's head in a terrific sixth, but the response from ‘Bulletproof’ was impressive, with a salvo of shots fired back in return.
Truscott was cut in the seventh but continued to press, and the crowd were on their feet during the final session as the pair punched each other to a standstill.
“He was stronger than I thought,” said the new champion, Goodings, afterwards. “He’s a tough kid, very experienced and he made it a hard night. The scores didn’t really reflect the hard work he put into it. I won the rounds but he made me work.
“It was the toughest fight of my career, and I expect it to be one of many. He’s won 19 fights and has been Commonwealth champion, it’s a great scalp to have and I can’t explain how happy I am. This puts everything into perspective, all the hard work and training since I was a ten-year-old.”
On the show’s undercard, all of which were four round bouts, Easington welterweight Paul Archer was upset by heavy-handed Welshman Tony Dixon, losing 36-39.
Archer was down during the first from a big left hook and wasn’t able to deter Dixon, who threw every shot with power.
Also on the bill, Horden welter Anthony Hardy had Newcastle’s Chris Bennett over in the last, before running out a 39-38 winner. Sunderland super-middleweight Jonson McClumpha sauntered to a 40-36 win over Sheffield’s Dean Walker.
Hartlepool super-featherweight Michael Hadfield won his second pro fight after opponent Jack Heath retired at the end of the second. While there were also wins for Doncaster heavyweight David Allen and Edinburgh’s John McCallum.
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