A large crowd at the Carmarthen Showground saw Scott Gammer (Pembroke Dock) become the seventh Welshman to lift the prestigious British Heavyweight Title belt on Friday night. Gammer stopped the spirited Mark Krence (Chesterfield) in the ninth round of a contest scheduled for twelve rounds. Local favourite Gammer was favoured to win after previously beating Krence in eight rounds in Sheffield back in May 2005. That contest was closely fought until the stoppage and a competitive fight was expected on this occasion also.
Krence employed different tactics on this occasion and opted to try to box Gammer at range and avoid getting too involved in a brawl. Gammer, weighing in a career high weight of 16st 9lbs (12 lbs heavier than Krence) looked the stronger man physically and this was to prove crucial later in the fight
Gammer started patiently in round one calmly stalking Krence who worked on the outside working behind an effective jab. Gammer landed the stronger punches in the fairly quiet opener but Krence probably edged it due to his workrate.
Round two was also a close affair with the Welshman increasing his workrate and Krence continuing to box around the perimeter of the ring. Krence caught Gammer with a decent left hook but it was Gammer who landed the heavier blows and on one occasion bullied Krence to the ropes where he landed a strong body shot. The impression was that Gammer was merely taking his time while Krence was still having to work extremely hard to keep his opponent at bay.
The third opened with Gammer connecting with several strong jabs. A big right shook the head of Krence who proceeded to let Gammer know that he hadn't been shaken. It was becoming clear that Gammer was the puncher in this fight but Krence finished the round strongly making this a tough round to score.
Rounds four and five were fairly even and rounds in which both fighters enjoyed their share of success. Krence managed to block a number of Gammer's punches and responded with a number of jabs and the occasional right cross. Gammer though still had more authority in his punches and put strong pressure on Krence when he drove the Chesterfield fighter to the ropes.
Gammer showed good hand speed and impressive combinations from the start in round six and it was in this round that Krence began to show slight signs of distress. Whilst still competitive his workrate looked to dip slightly and Gammer began to press forward. The Welshman looked confident in his demeanour and he retained this look until the end of the contest.
Both fighters appeared to take breathers during round 7 which was fairly even but it soon became evident that Krence was beginning to suffer whilst Gammer was merely preparing to step up a gear. Round eight was dominated by Gammer who threw several good left hooks and unloaded on Krence who was coming under increasing pressure. The crowd were sensing that Gammer was on course for victory and began chanting his name. His superior strength was now starting to show and the end was looming for the very gritty Krence.
Gammer produced a fast start in round nine and caught Krence with some swift combinations. Krence was doing his utmost to keep his opponent at bay but was now facing an increasingly confident opponent. A big left hand caught Krence midway through the round and sent him to the canvas. Clearly hurt, Krence found his way to his feet at the count of eight. His trainer, Richard Poxon, stood on the ring apron appearing to be ready to throw in the towel. Gammer proceeded to bully Krence and launched a sustained attack with both hands. Krence was firing little back and referee John Keane correctly called a halt to the bout at 2.35 in the ninth round. The largely pro Gammer crowd rose to their feet to salute the new champion.
The Paul Boyce promoted Welshman, now with a record of 16-0-1, will now aim to use this victory as a springboard to greater achievements. He appears to have garnered a large support base in the area who will no doubt travel to support him in future bouts. As for Krence (now 21-6-0) the future may be more uncertain after four consecutive losses inside the distance. However, he showed good skills and strong will in this bout and can be proud of his efforts.
The undercard saw local fighter Ceri Hall (now 9-3-1) defeat Billy Smith of Stourport by the score of 60-54 in a good opener. Hall was followed by another local in Henry Jones who defeated Furhan Rafiq also by the margin of 60-54. Jones now moves to 8-16-1and his victory resulted in applause for this popular fighter. The final bout of the evening saw Karl David (Cardiff) disposing of David Kehoe in the opening round of a contest scheduled for 6 rounds. David's record has now improved to 18-6-1 with 9 KO's.