John Simpson Retains Commonwealth Featherweight Title With 10th-Round Stoppage Of Paul Truscott

05.09.09 - by James Slater - Last night, in his opponent's backyard of Middlesbrough, 26-year-old Commonwealth featherweight champion John Simpson of Greenock in Scotland successfully retained his title for the first time. Back in January of this year, the two men had met whilst Truscott was the defending champion, and the fight was stopped in the 8th-round due to a bad head clash cut Truscott, forcing him to defeat.

Last night, in a real blood and guts thriller that has to be up there amongst the best domestic fights of the year in Britain, Simpson got the job done with his fists, stopping his man at 1-minute and 34-seconds of the 10th round.. Not that there wasn't a ton of blood spilt on the part of the vanquished Truscott in this fight also!

Right from the first bell, the two rivals came tearing at one another, much to the delight of Truscott's loyal and vocal fans. The action was great throughout all nine-and-a-half completed rounds, with the frenetic pace never once dipping. A number of times during the mini-classic it looked like cuts would again haunt Truscott and force him to be stopped. Cut over the right eye in the 2nd-round, "Trussy" was also badly cut over the left eye a round later. Eventually, though he refused to let him bother him unduly, the challenger's face, along with referee Victor Loughlin's once white shirt, was covered with blood.

Showing bravery beyond the call (Simpson later said his hands were killing him due to the manner in which he had to keep on hitting Truscott!) the 23-year-old battled back hard, but Simpson always looked one step ahead. Forced to take a count in the 9th-round, when it looked as though he'd been hurt and touched down with his gloves for a second (upon replay, perhaps the ref had made a bad call), Truscott's plight looked all the more futile. Way behind on points and knowing it, the Middlesbrough man would not even think about quitting.

The great action raged on until the 10th-round, and even though he was primarily being beaten up Truscott did land a number of hard body shots at times. Finally pinned on the ropes and sagging back as he was under fire, the former champ gave the third man in the ring no choice but to dive in and call a halt to the great contest. It was all over and the fans and the fighters got their breath back. In all honesty, you will be hard pressed to find a better fight at this level - or perhaps at any level - the rest of this year!

Simpson is now 20-6(8) and he has in his sights a fight for the British title, which he has previously held. The incredibly brave Truscott, who was praised post-fight by his conqueror, is now 13-2(1).

Article posted on 05.09.2009

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