Boxing

Jon Thaxton's Career Far From Over, Captures European Lightweight Crown

by James Slater - Last night, in his hometown of Norwich, U.K, 34-year-old Jon Thaxton won the vacant European lightweight crown with a superbly impressive 3rd round stoppage of Spain's Juan Carlos Diaz Melero. The KO "Jono" scored was absolutely spectacular, and a genuine highlight reel moment. Landing one of the best punches of his long career, Thaxton scored with a cracking right hook that landed flush..

The 32-year-old Spaniard hit the mat hard and had no chance of beating the count that was given to him by referee Robin Dopierre. The official time was 2 mins and 29-seconds of the 3rd round and veteran Thaxton saw his career very much revived at top level. Improving to 34-8(19), Thaxton proved his career is in no way over, as some felt it perhaps was when he lost on cuts to Yuri Romanov back in April of this year. Melero, who had only previously lost to Romanov, also in 3-rounds, fell to 36-2(19).

Thaxton, a switch-hitting southpaw, came out very aggressively right at the opening bell and was in command all the way. Looking as good as he ever has, "Jono" let both hands go in effective fashion, determined as he was to get hold of the European belt. Thaxton knew, if he'd lost last night, he'd have had nowhere to go.

He was on the front foot again in the 2nd, and Melero, who had picked up a cut over his right eye, was being manhandled with some ease. Never really getting into the fight, the Spaniard tried, but was just outgunned.

The end came suddenly, and spectacularly, in the 3rd. Once again taking the fight to the younger man, Thaxton unleashed a perfect right hook that sent his opponent crashing on his back. Very possibly the best punch of the British fighter's career, the powerful right totally ruined Melero. He tried to get back up, but was only able to life his head. He remained on the canvas for some time as he was tended to by the paramedics at ringside. Thankfully he was fine, even though he was given oxygen.

The future now looks great for a fighter who has always been matched tough (Ricky Hatton, Emanuel Augustus, Colin Dunne and Romanov among others) and who has more than paid his dues. Rightfully proud of having won a major title this late in the game, the former British lightweight champ can look forward to some big and well deserved paydays.

Article posted on 05.10.2008



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