Blackpool’s Matty Askin could make the first defence of his newly-acquired English cruiserweight title against unbeaten Walsall boxer Chris Keane.
Askin had a clear-cut points win over Yorkshireman China Clarke but wants this to be no more than a stop along the way to a tilt at the British crown.
Judges Richie Davies, Terry O’Connor and Dave Paris had it respectively 98-92, 99-91, 98-92 as Askin took the title at the second time of asking, having lost previously to Jon-Lewis Dickinson.
Both boxers cautiously summed each other up until the contest exploded into life in the seventh round, when Clarke was decked by combination punches.
Askin could even indulge in some show-boating in the last round and after the final bell he celebrated in unorthodox fashion, flinging his gum-shield into the crowd. Askin said after the 10-round points win:”It’s overwhelming. I had tears in my eyes. It was a controlled performance, I picked my shots and made Clarke slip and miss.
“I had been going wrong, going gung-ho, forcing the fight and I didn’t need to do that. When he started trading in the last round, though, I thought, ‘Let’s have it’. “He didn’t want it, simple as that.”
“The plan was to win the first six, whatever the cost, not to do anything daft before sinking to the body and bringing the uppercuts in.”
“I am quite a big cruiserweight - but Clarke was huge. He could punch as well and I have a massive lump on the back of my head where he kept catching me.
“The board have offered Chris Keane but I don’t want this belt for long. I want the British title.”
Winner Matty Askin celebrates