Thursday, July 2, 2009

British Scene: Jason Booth Defeats Rocky Dean

At a sweltering York Hall on Tuesday evening, a late arriving Jason Booth soundly defeated Rocky Dean to retain his British Super-Bantamweight Title with arguably one of the best performances of his 13 year pro career.

Matt Chudley has the recap.

Check out Matt's preview of the show: Booth vs Dean Preview

Tuesday June 30

Booth Scores Wide Points Win

By Matt Chudley

Onlookers could never have guessed that Booth arrived at the venue less than 40 minutes before the contest began - the result of a traffic incident - as he put on a clinical display in thoroughly outclassing the naturally bigger and stronger Rocky Dean. Despite suffering a small but deep cut on his forehead in the opening round, Booth stayed composed throughout, throwing over 1000 punches in out-thinking and out-boxing the East Anglia fighter.

Dean had stated in the pre-fight build-up that he expected to do the better of his work in the second half of the fight and would be relying on his highly regarded stamina to grind down the smaller man. From the third round onwards, he attempted to make good on his claim as he started to press the action but it appeared that he had already let Booth settle into his rhythm.

As Dean pushed forward, he managed to catch many of the free swinging Nottingham man's punches on his arms and gloves, but still found himself peppered with short punches and hooks. He also found it difficult to land, as Booth constantly presented angles while moving side to side.

Aware that he was in with a durable opponent and a few pounds up from his comfort zone, Booth was content with a high volume assault and rarely loaded up, though he did stun Dean in the fifth with a straight right hand.

With the early start, both fighters must have been feeling the heat from what was London’s hottest day of the past 3 years, but admirably continued to fight at a high pace as the bout moved into the later rounds.

Dean’s best round of the fight came in the 9th when he really upped the pace on a tiring Booth, but still found the mark with few eye catching punches, and suffered a cut of his own from a clash of heads during the frame. He did manage to take the round on 2 of the 3 scorecards, saving himself from a total shutout on the cards.

Booth seemed to find a second wind in the 10th, going back to his tidy work on the inside. Still light on his feet, he closed out the fight in the same slick way he started to keep the Lonsdale belt with scores of 120-108 and 119-109 twice.

Next on the cards for the impressive Midlander appears to be an attractive fight with comebacking former world title challenger and once beaten Michael Hunter, who has now been named as the mandatory challenger for the British 122lb title. Should promoter Frank Maloney not want to risk his resurgent charge against Hunter, then a rubber match with Ian Napa in the more familiar confines of the bantamweight class could await Booth - provided of course that Napa first re-captures the British Bantamweight title on July 24th against Gary Davis.

On the under-card…

Unheralded Jamie Arthur (15-2) upset previously unbeaten Akaash Bhatia on referee Dave Paris's score of 96-95 over ten rounds in a British featherweight eliminator. Bhatia had received considerable hype during his assent up the ranks, though the level of his competition had been extremely limited and the North London fighter may not have been fully prepared for the step-up in class.

Darren Sutherland was given the first test of his professional career against Gennadiy Rasalev. The tough Ukrainian seemed unfazed by Sutherland’s credentials, giving the Olympic bronze medalist some trouble in the second round, but by the time the bout was halted due to cuts in the 4th round, Sutherland had regained control.

Also on the card, 6'6 Heavyweight prospect Tom Dallas punished the 3-1 Stas Belokon, dropping him 3 times before referee Dave Paris had seen enough.

Flyweight Ashley Sexton kept busy with a 6 round decision win over Kemal Plavci ahead of a potential September clash with British and Commonwealth champion Chris Edwards.

e-mail Matt Chudley