By Daniel Mole – Stourbridge’s Steve Pearce became Midlands Area Welterweight Champion last night after stopping Derby’s Luke Gallear in the fifth round of a bruising battle.
Pearce, who only took the fight on Monday after Walsall’s Joel Ryan cried off with a chest infection, deserved his victory at Burton Town Hall. Credit to the gutsy Gallear though, who played his part in what was a real toe-to-toe tussle.
The bout started at a frantic pace with Gallear (now 4-5-2) taking the fight straight to Pearce (now 7-1). Blows were traded for the full three minutes with Pearce throwing the quality and Gallear throwing the quantity. That’s not to do the Derby man a disservice though as he did land on a number of occasions.
‘Fierce’ rocked Gallear in the second with a powerful hook, resulting in his opponent taking an eight count. The Stourbridge man went for the kill but the gallant Gallear hung on and sucked up everything Pearce had to offer before finding a second wind in the second round. He backed Pearce up on a number of occasions and the momentum of the fight looked to be changing.
Credit to Pearce though, he had regained his composure by the fourth and started to combine his shots to good effect. Game Gallear kept coming forward though and was still landing his own heavy shots.
Into the fifth round and somehow both boxers continued to come forward, keeping up the frantic pace set in the previous four rounds. After a flurry of shots landed, Pearce sensed victory and, was relentless in his pursuit of the Midlands strap. A series of spiteful combinations rocked Gallear again and the fight was, quite rightly, stopped.
Pearce couldn’t hide his delight and rushed to his army of supporters before being crowned Midlands Area Champion.
“I’m buzzing,” he told www.uko-boxing.com afterwards. “This time last week I was training for a six-rounder against William Warburton, now I’m Midlands Area Champion.
“It was a great fight. We both wanted it so bad. Fair play to Gallear, he’s a warrior. He took shot after shot and kept coming forward.
“I stuck to my plan though and it paid off. It’s a great feeling and this is just the start for me.”
Tom Shaw (now 9-1) made a return to winning ways with a comfortable points victory over Birmingham’s Jason Nesbitt (now 9-162-4). The Burton Light Welterweight won each round to record a convincing 60-54 victory.
Dudley prospect, Kyle Spencer (now 5-0) sent Swadlincote’s Jimmy Price home early by recording a first career KO. Price (now 0-1-1) came out swinging but Spencer kept him at bay with straight jabs before putting his opponent to bed with a fierce blow.
The evening began with Tamworth’s Matt Seawright drawing with Exeter’s Faheem Khan to take their respective records to (3-69-5) and (4-0-2).
Pearce will look to defend his new belt against the man he stood in for, Joel Ryan, in May.