Booth Stops Marsh On Cut, Johanneson Returns With A Win

by James Slater - There was plenty of good action last night in the Nottingham show headlined by British super-bantamweight champion Jason "Too Smooth" Booth. 32-year-old Booth, defending his British title for the third time, won the coveted Lonsdale belt outright, as he won an 11th-round TKO over a very game Matthew Marsh.

Booth, from Nottingham, had a very tough fight on his hands, as he was cut, floored and outboxed in the first half of the exciting affair. Finally, much to the dismay of 27-year-old Marsh and his fans, Booth got the win at 59-seconds of the 11th-round - as the ringside doctor stopped the fight due to the nasty cut Marsh had above his right eye.. Booth, who also picked up the vacant Commonwealth 122-pound title, is now 35-5(15). Former British champion Marsh is now 13-2(1).

Booth had real problems in the first five or six rounds of the fight, as the faster Marsh caught him with shots and outworked him. A clash of heads in the opening round left Booth cut above the left eye, and the injury looked to be quite a serious one. Booth's corner did a good job of patching their man up, however, and there was no real danger of the fight being stopped due to the head clash.

But Marsh looked for a good few rounds as though he just might take Booth's title (the title he himself gave up, as opposed to losing in the ring). Marsh even scored a flash knockdown in the 5th-round, when Booth was caught to the head by a shot when off balance and a count was given. Showing real character once again in his career, though, Booth pressed forwards and finally got into his groove in the 6th and 7th-rounds.

Marsh had picked up a cut over his right eye in the session in which he scored the knockdown, and by the late rounds the blood was flowing profusely. The younger man was also tiring, and Booth was winning the rounds - at last showing his class. On my card, "Too Smooth" won every round from the 7th to the 10th; before Marsh's bad cut forced the ending.

On two of the three judges cards, Marsh was up, however - by two points and by three points, respectively. With just two full rounds left to go at the time of the ending, who knows, maybe we could have had a draw had the bout been permitted to go on? The cut eye was so bad the fight had to be stopped, though, and Booth pulled it out in the end. A rematch is a strong possibility.

A big name returned to action on the under-card, as former British super-featherweight champion Carl Johanneson fought for the first time since his loss to Kevin Mitchell, back in March of 2008. Up at an announced weight of 138-pounds, the 31-year-old from Leeds pounded out a six-rounds points win over the durable Syrian, Youssef Al Hamidi. It's tough to know how much the now 28-4(19) Johanneson has left, but the reported hope of "Ingemar's" is to get a return with Mitchell. Al Hamidi, who has been stopped just once in 32 pro fights, is now 6-24-2(1).

Also on last night's card, light-heavyweight and former "Prize Fighter" winner Ovill McKenzie looked sensational as he stopped the tough Billy Boyle in just over two minutes of the very first round. McKenzie, one of British boxing's best kept secrets, is now 18-9(7). Another former "Prize Fighter," in Young Mutley, also won last night, as he stopped Scott Woolford at 1 minute and three-seconds of the 3rd-round. 33-year-old Mutley is now 28-5(14).

28-year-old Light-middleweight Martin Concepcion earned himself a place in the next "Prize Fighter" tournament, as he won a very tough and close ten-round decision over Kevin Hammond. Opinions were split at ringside as to who deserved the win, but Concepcion prevailed by a single point at 97-96.

Article posted on 07.02.2010

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