Kid Galahad wins British title
By Rachel Aylett: In a magnificent fight tonight in Rotherham for the vacant British super-bantamweight title, Kid Galahad retained his unbeaten record at the expense of fellow unbeaten prospect James Dickens. The pre-fight favourite Galahad was given the fright of his life by the inspired Dickens.
The intensity of the fight showed just how important winning the famed Lonsdale belt is to British fighters, as they both waged a tremendous struggle for victory. The tension in the arena was obvious and although not an aesthetically pleasing fight, it was absolutely gripping and absorbing all the way through.
The first three rounds were nip and tuck and were all hard to score. The switch-hitting Galahad started in the orthodox stance but kept switching to southpaw and back again. He couldn’t seem to get settled and it was noticeable that whatever stance he took up, he was getting hit cleanly and far too often by the looping left hand of Dickens. The smoothness that Galahad had shown in his previous fights was nowhere to be seen as he kept getting caught by Dickens, who just wouldn’t let him settle. Every time Galahad would land a decent shot, Dickens would come back with an equally good shot and his bustling, busy style was edging him the rounds. After five rounds I had Dickens two points up and it looked as though the upset was about to take place.
The fight started to turn in the sixth round. The intensity with which Dickens had previously fought no longer seemed to be there. This meant that the pace slowed which gave Galahad the extra time that he needed to pick out his educated punches. He scored heavily in this round, particularly to the body. However, in the seventh Dickens showed that he was still in the fight, landing some of his best shots of the night and taking that round to re-establish his lead. This turned out to be the last time that he was in control of the fight, as Galahad really started to come on strong in the eighth. The ninth was a one-sided round as Galahad started successfully landing his combinations for the first time. It was heading towards being his best round up to that point. In the last minute of the round though, referee Mark Green called a halt to proceedings and took a point from Galahad for pulling down on Dickens’ head. This seemed extremely harsh. He had warned Galahad once in an earlier round for this offence, but to take a point at such a crucial stage, without further warning and in such a close fight might have made all the difference had the fight gone the distance. It seems that this referee often allies himself to controversy, so it was no major surprise to see him getting involved in such a way.
Despite Galahad’s big effort in the ninth round failing to bring him closer on the scorecards, it had taken a lot out of his opponent. The tenth round subsequently saw the end. Galahad continued his good work of the ninth and was now battering the tiring Dickens around the ring. Dickens was on the back foot and Galahad, who by now was fighting exclusively from the southpaw stance, landed a thudding straight left bang on the crouching Dickens’ chin, putting him down heavily. Galahad did a little jig in the ring whilst Dickens was trying to get up, more out of relief than anything else. Dickens did arise but the referee looked closely at him before waving it over. A cut had appeared on the bridge of Dickens’ nose during the final onslaught and he was starting to get beaten up. There was no disputing the stoppage by the loser or his team.
I’m not sure how the judges had the fight scored, but at the end I still had Dickens one point ahead. However, there is no doubt that Galahad would have taken the final two rounds and won on the cards anyway. Despite his nonchalance in the post-fight interview, Galahad wouldn’t have enjoyed this fight. He was hit more times tonight than in all of his previous performances put together and despite calling out Quigg and Frampton afterwards, he is some way off their level at the moment. However, he did prove his fighting heart tonight which, of course, is a crucial part of a boxer’s make-up. For Dickens, there is no reason why he can’t come again and I certainly foresee him fighting for this title again in the future.
The undercard saw a stunning stoppage victory for Chris Eubank Jr., who put forth his best performance to date in stopping normally teak-tough Alexey Ribchev for the first time in his career. Eubank is heading for the top at a rate of knots.
This little show had been almost completely overlooked during the build up by boxing followers due to the imminence of “The One” a few hours later across the Atlantic. What’s ironic though is that this show was watched in the U.K. by a far, far bigger audience than will get to see Mayweather-Alvarez here in the early hours of Sunday morning. This is, of course, due to the fact that Galahad and Dickens got to display their wares on terrestrial television (Channel 5), whereas The One is due to be shown on satellite channel BoxNation.
The fighters showcasing boxing on Channel 5 in its current run; Tyson Fury, Eubank Jr., and Galahad have represented the sport magnificently to a wider public and we owe them a debt of thanks for that.
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