Lawton V Thaxton: Keith Chadwick Previews Friday Night’s British Title Showdown

12.03.07 - When Scott Lawton enters the ring in Norwich at around 10 pm on Friday night he will be carrying the hopes and best wishes of the Potteries with him. A victory by Lawton on the evening will represent the biggest sporting victory for the city since Stoke City lifted the League Cup in 1972. With odds of around 7/1 being quoted on him to win, Lawton will start the contest as the underdog and in champion Jon Thaxton he will be facing a formidable adversary, consequently few in the know will be tipping Lawton to win this one..

Thaxton enters the contest with a ledger that reads Won 31 (16 KO’s) Lost 7 and as the reigning champion. Lawton, the current holder of the English title, boasts a record of Won 20 (4 KO’s) Lost 2 and Drawn 1.

Perhaps the best guide is to compare the records that each man has against common opponents of which there are four. Both men have beaten Karl Taylor, Carl Allen and Silence Saheed. Alan Temple was the last man to beat Lawton when he emerged victorious by a solitary point in September 2005. Thaxton has beaten Temple twice, the first on points over four rounds in March 2001 and last February by demolishing him in five rounds causing the referee to bring proceedings to an early close.

Lawton has beaten Allen twice on points whereas Thaxton despatched him with a first round KO in December 2004.

Discounting a disqualification against Alan Temple, Lawton became the first man to beat the tough Saheed. Thaxton inflicted Saheed’s next defeat the following month. Lawton earned his victory over the belligerent Nigerian with a display of consummate boxing ability and demonstrated his ability to out-think most opponents in the ring. Thaxton on the other hand tried to stop Saheed in his tracks during the first two rounds of their contest but failed to deter him. He then spent the remainder of the bout on the back foot avoiding Saheed’s advances.

With a world-class left hook, Thaxton is a potent puncher but is far from a one-dimensional boxer as he has proven on many occasions. His tally of KO’s is testament to the ferocity of his punching power but he has shown a propensity for looking to land the killer blow which may leave him susceptible to an accomplished counter puncher. The fact that 4 of his 7 defeats have come inside the distance further suggests that Thaxton is, on occasion, vulnerable.

Lawton on the other hand has proven very durable having lifted himself from the canvas more than once to go on and prevail. Additionally, each of his two defeats have been by only a single point and he has yet to be stopped in the pro ranks. Indeed, he recovered from a first round shot from Stefy Bull that left him rocking last June and then proceeded to outbox and out-power the Doncaster man, stopping him in the eighth and lifting the English title.

Lawton utilises a sublime jab and can despatch an uppercut effectively with either hand. Beyond this he possesses the full range of shots in his arsenal and varies his attacks with ease. He lacks Thaxton’s power however and has often displayed a tendency to get drawn in and mix it with opponents. He will need to guard against this temptation; the only likely outcome of any slugfest is a Thaxton victory.

At 5’10” Lawton will have a significant height and reach advantage over Thaxton at 5’5” and will clearly seek to use it to stay out of the Norwich man’s range. Furthermore, the Stoke man will be looking to use his mobility to evade the Thaxton bombs and Thaxton can rest assured that Lawton won’t miss any opportunity to counter. You should expect Lawton to score on the judges’ cards consistently throughout the contest therefore and if the timekeeper is fully employed expect a Lawton victory. Thaxton will need to make it an early night if he’s to retain the title.

The mood in the Lawton camp is reportedly one of quiet assurance as Lawton’s manager Mick Carney confirmed: “The coaching staff have done a fantastic job with Scott and he is fitter, stronger and more focused than ever before. All the work is done now and we are ready for Friday. It just remains for Scott to do the business on the night.”

Article posted on 12.03.2007

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