25.11.06 - Stoke's own Chris Edwards tonight (November 24th 2006) produced a performance that any boxer would have been proud of and pulled off one of the biggest boxing upsets ever seen in this part of the world. By stopping Dale Robinson in the 8th round not only did he take the biggest scalp of his career to date but also lifted the English flyweight title in the process..
As the former Commonwealth Champion and with only two blemishes, points losses to Jason Booth and Martin Power in IBO and British title fights, on his otherwise flawless record Robinson was the clear favourite. Edwards however is no respecter of reputations and had been prepared superbly by Lindon Newbon and Sammy Donelly in the Impact gym. He had also received advice from Gary Davies a former sparring partner of Robinson's. when hostilities commenced Edwards clearly had a game plan which he employed with the determination of a true professional; he jabbed and moved, worked to the body and to the head and didn't give the Huddersfield man the opportunity to settle.
Consequently Edwards took the first two rounds by a clear margin and Robinson was left wondering what he had let himself in for. Round three saw Edwards take his foot of the gas a little and this gave Robinson the chance to throw his trademark left hooks to the body and head with some success.
Whilst Robinson found his target with more consistency the supremely fit Edwards walked through the shots and never looked troubled by them. Rounds four and five saw Edwards raise his work-rate once more but Robinson's confidence had now returned and both men traded punches with Edwards the busier whilst Robinson picked his opportunity to score with a series of hooks. Honours were just about even during these two rounds and both men looked evenly matched.
Round five followed a similar pattern by whilst Robinson was now showing signs of fatigue and was beginning to hold at every opportunity Edwards looked as fresh as ever. More significantly Edwards was growing in confidence and beginning to believe that he could pull it off whilst Robinson was visibly showing signs of doubt. Rounds six and seven saw Robinson hold it together as he still threw his left hooks but now less frequently and with diminished conviction whereas Edwards was working to both head and body with more accuracy and more venom edging both rounds.
When Robinson came out for the eighth he already looked resigned to his fate. On the other hand Edwards' body language was positive as he came out with a swagger. Robinson's hooks were now tired but Edwards had found his second wind and went to work with a vengeance throwing head and body combinations almost at will. By the mid point of the round Chris was well on top and threw a right to the head of Robinson that clearly shook the Huddersfield man and extinguished any confidence he had left.
Sensing this Edwards moved in for the kill and was now able to despatch his barrages at will. Realising that the writing was on the wall for Robinson his corner threw the towel in and by the time the referee had waved the contest off Chris Edwards was being held aloft by Team Impact.
Chris Edwards had produced the performance of his life and finally showed his true class. Having spent most of his career suffering at the hands of opponents with a significant weight advantage Edwards has now proven that when evenly matched he can hold his own with the best of them and no-one can dispute his pedigree and his right to call himself champion of England!
Debutant Imran Khan came up with the most notable victory on the undercard when he disposed of fellow first timer Sammy Stewart inside the first round. Recovering from an early knockdown Khan followed a right-left combination with a stinging right cross that send the Leeds man stumbling to the canvas unable to recover before he was counted out.
Scott Lawton got a useful workout against veteran Karl Taylor ahead of his English title defence against Dean Hickman scheduled for February next year. Never really troubled by the awkward Birmingham man Lawton secured a shutout 40-36 victory.
Alsager's Aaron Thomas extended his 100% record in a one-sided victory over the clowning Ben Hudson winning by a 60-54 margin. A useful workout for Thomas that will serve as helpful lesson in patience as he continues with his apprenticeship in the pro ranks.
A trademark display from Danny Johnston saw him over power the more experienced Martin Marshall. The first two rounds were relatively even as the light-middleweights probed each otherís defences looking for weaknesses. In the third however Danny upped his work-rate significantly and had the Sunderland man pinned to the ropes for long periods forced to hold in order to avoid Johnstonís hooks to the head and body. The pattern was repeated during rounds 4 and 5 and despite a rally from Marshall in the final round Johnston was awarded the contest 58-56.
Newarkís Andrew Alan Lowe bounced back by beating the tough London based Pole Pawell Jas 59-56. The busier of the two Lowe worked well behind his jab and consistently followed up with neat combinations throughout the bout. Jas however played his part as the aggressor also and didnít let Lowe get it all his own way.
Another excellent show from Impact Boxing and a second English title suggests that they are doing a good job and that they can now look forward to their second year with justifiable confidence.