Thursday, September 3, 2009

British Scene: John Simpson vs Paul Truscott II Preview

Dave Oakes previews tomorrow night's rematch between between featherweights John Simpson and Paul Truscott.

Paul Truscott will be looking for revenge on Friday night when he challenges John Simpson for the Commonwealth featherweight title at the Eston Sports Academy in Middlesbrough.

Truscott will be fighting in front of his hometown fans once more, as he was when he lost the title to Simpson just over seven months ago. Truscott was stopped in the eighth round last time after a couple of hefty head clashes caused a nasty cut above his right eye. The Middlesbrough man was ahead on two of the judges scorecards at the time but was starting to lose his way in the fight, with Simpson’s marauding style seemingly having an effect on him.

Simpson is the older man by just three years but is a far more seasoned campaigner than Truscott, having had twenty-five fights compared to Truscott’s fourteen. Simpson’s record of 19-6 is a bit deceiving; he was thrown in at the deep end very early in his career and has only lost to good fighters. He’s certainly the best fighter Truscott has ever faced.

Simpson isn’t the fastest, slickest, or even the strongest fighter in the featherweight division, but he’s got a massive heart and is more than happy to take a punch to land one. He also hits harder than his record suggests (just seven of his win have come inside the distance), he hasn’t got one punch knockout power; his punches are the type that have more of an accumulative effect.

One thing for certain is that he’s the puncher in this fight. Truscott has only got one stoppage on his record (13-1) and hasn’t got the power to trouble Simpson, who’s got a solid chin. Truscott is fast, stylish, and better suited to hitting and moving rather than trading punches. He started their first meeting well but seemed to be surprised at how quick Simpson was closing him down. If he’s to stand any chance of winning the rematch he must land sharp combinations to keep Simpson off balance before moving out of range.

I’m impressed that Truscott has decided to take the rematch so willingly; it shows that he believes he’s got what it takes to beat Simpson. There were plenty of other options available for Truscott, who at 22, is still in the learning stage of his career.

I’m having a hard time picking a winner in this fight; I believe it’ll go to the scorecards where there’ll be very little separating them. I give Simpson the slight edge but Truscott’s confidence leads me to think he could snatch a victory if he executes the perfect game plan. He’ll have to be on his toes from the first bell to the last if he’s to win but he’s more than capable of doing so.

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