Hennessy Sports promoted Lenny Daws fulfilled his pre-fight prediction that he was going to surprise a few people against Colin Lynes at the York Hall in Bethnal Green on Friday night. By beating Lynes, Daws has lined up a Spring showdown against Nigel Wright for the British light welterweight title. Despite going into the final eliminator for the vacant championship as a 9/2 underdog with some bookies, the 27-year-old from Morden delivered more accurate work at relentless pace that convinved Lynes - who had taken European champion Junior Witter the distance in October – to remain on his stool after nine rounds.
"I don’t know why, but in the build up I always knew that I was going to get the stoppage," Daws began. "I always had a good feeling about this fight. From the moment I knew about it, I was never nervous, even though Lynes is a big name. I always knew I would win."
Daws had every right to be confident. He demonstrated against Oscar Hall in October in a final eliminator for the English title that he was ready for Championship action and his preparation for Lynes alongside trainer Robert McCracken had been flawless.
The only slight doubt concerned the slow starts he had suffered in a couple of previous contests, but there was never going to be a re-occurrence. "I am conscious that I have switched off a couple of times in the past," Daws admitted. "But I have addressed that now, I have a new focus. That was never going to happen against someone that has Lynes’ ability anyway; the better the person you fight the more on edge you are, as you know you are going to be in for a toughie."
It perhaps, however, was not as tough as he expected. "I enjoyed myself in there," he added. "Everything pretty much went according to plan, if not better. To be honest it was a little bit easier than I expected. I found that I was outboxing him from the off. Then, once I started to get home, I knew for certain that it wasn’t going the distance, although I was prepared for 12. I was actually just about to step on the gas again when the end came."
With the finish came rapturous celebrations from the ‘Morden Massive,’ who had shouted their man to the rafters throughout."It was electrifying in the York Hall," Daw’s said. "I had shivers up my spine when I was walking out, I have never felt anything like it. The Massive are so noisy! I also had the fans of all the other Hennessy boxers behind me as well."
"The support I got during the fight really lifted me too, but the best bit was the end. My lot had got everywhere and were going mad.
"I will never forget that night. I am still buzzing now. I can’t sleep at the moment, partly because of the reaction I got but also because of where I am now, it was a great win."
Some have attempted to denigrate his achievement following claims by Lynes’ trainer Paul Cook that his charge took the fight on two weeks notice, even though the boxer himself had admitted that he trained all over Christmas.
Lynes was, in fact, asked to appear on the event on the same day as Daws against a top rated domestic contender – possibly in a British title eliminator – on the understanding that he would step in to face Daws if his then scheduled opponent James Armah withdrew.t was a prudent contingency plan that had to be exercised over the festive period.
"Colin was fully fit, there is no doubt about that," Daws continued. "He told SKY that like me he was up on Christmas day running at 5am training for this. He gave up his holiday, just like me. He also had 12 rounds under his belt from when he fought Witter in October.
"At the end of the day he just couldn’t live with the pace I set. I am a pressure fighter and he couldn’t handle it. I know Colin didn’t come out and say anything, but I think Cook’s comments were a bit unsporting. Particularly when you consider that in the build up to this fight he not only said that Colin would have too much ability for me, but also that he was looking very sharp in the gym.
"Why would he have taken the fight if Colin wasn’t 100% fit? My win had nothing to do with notice, I am just a better fighter than Lynes – it’s as simple as that.
Former ABA champion Daws believes that his undoubted ability will also see him through when he faces Nigel Wright for the British title in the coming months:
"Nigel is a good boxer and he is a southpaw, but he won’t be able to be technical against me. I will just pressure him and I am not sure he will be handle to it – he couldn’t in the amateurs."
Daws’ promoter Mick Hennessy clearly believes that the British title will just be the first stop on his title journey.
"Given how he performed against Colin Lynes in just his 13th fight, can you imagine how good this kid is going to be?" said the Hennessy Sports head. "Now that Junior Witter is fighting for the WBC title I believe that Lenny is the best 10 stone fighter on the European scene. He is the most exciting as well. Everybody at Hennessy Sports is very proud of him."