Newborough’s Cello Renda had to go to war to retain his International Masters title while Sam Barron from Eye expertly stopped his opponent to win on his professional debut.
It was a feast of boxing we were all promised at Peterborough Arena and the city’s home grown talent gave the 1,000-strong crowd lots to cheer about.
The main event saw Renda’s opponent Tyan Booth rightly disqualified in the ninth round for persistent rule-breaking. Booth’s awkward, tying up style of fighting was always going to test Renda’s game plan.
But few could have predicted Booth spoiling the contest with a series of dirty tricks – the most vicious being a head butt – that immediately signalled his disqualification. Renda was leading 79-75 at the moment of impact. His bloodied right eye needed stitches and Booth needed a quick getaway as the crowd began to chant their displeasure.
At the start Renda entered the ring to a different tune and his robe and shorts carried a different design too, but once the bell rang the warrior in him was unchanged.
Booth wasn’t interested in boxing. He came to unsettle and frustrate his opponent. Renda adapted for this style of boxer and glimpses of Renda the fighter delighted the home support. He kept up a strong work rate and went to war when an opening presented itself past Booth’s dangling jab.
Rounds one and two were Renda’s. Booth began spoiling with unnecessary clinches in the third but both men managed to fire off some stinging blows. By the fifth Renda started to pick his shots better and reminded us of his effective, big right hand on several occasions.
Six and seven were all about digging deep as Renda fought tirelessly to break Booth’s frustrating style but in round eight, two overhand rights reminded Booth of how difficult it was going to be to take Renda’s title. Minutes later he resorted to delivering a nasty head butt that ended his challenge.
Barron’s fight was a much cleaner affair where his opponent Lewis Byrne was punished by a sharp right uppercut that ended the contest.
This was the Eye boxer’s professional debut and he was impressive and in control right from the first bell. A string of neat jabs caught Byrne’s eye in the opening round as Barron settled with the confidence of a veteran.
He ended the first with a powerful body shot that signalled to Byrne he’d be in for a tough six rounds. But Barron’s plan was to end it sooner and with just under two minutes gone in the third, he floored his opponent with a crisp right hand that beat Byrne to the count.
In other contests, Chatteris fighter Jordan Gill notched up a controlled points win over Sid Razak to secure his fourth successive professional victory, while St Neots lightweight Tommy Martin made it two wins in two with a comfortable 60-54 verdict over Jason Nesbitt.
Photos: Chris Brudenell for ESP Magazine.