As expected, British Jr Middleweight Champion Jamie Moore proved to be too strong for gutsy little challenger David Walker, who was hurt in the second, floored with bodyshots in the third, and finally taken out by a sustained barrage in the fourth round of a scheduled 12 at the George H Carnall Centre, Manchester.
A sell-out crowd had packed the sports arena in anticipation of an exciting battle, but ultimately the fight was one sided and clinical. Walker, now 23-3-1, was perhaps heartened beforehand by the fact that Moore had been floored twice before getting up to win in his previous fight, but the former welterweight just couldn’t land anything of significance in the 12 minutes or so the bout lasted.
The Sidcup challenger tried to box in the opening round, but Moore, who upped his record to 22-3-0, had obviously been working on his defence. The Manchester champion picked Walker’s shots off on his arms and utilised a good southpaw jab in a close first round. The turning point came in the second, when Moore emerged from a clinch with a cut over his left eye. Inspired by the sight of blood, Walker quickly went onto the attack…which is precisely what Moore wanted. The bigger, stronger man met Walker in the middle of the ring and out-landed him, hurting Walker before the bell went to end the round.
Moore continued the assault in round 3, and by the end of the session was looking dominant. A final left hook to the body made Walker sag onto one knee for the first knockdown. Walker’s trainer, Robert McCracken (himself a former world contender at middleweight), tried to lift his charge between rounds, but the fight was effectively over. Moore came out blazing in the fourth, and a torrent of punches with Walker pinned on the ropes bludgeoned the challenger to the canvas for the second time. McCracken compassionately threw the towel in and Moore jubilantly celebrated his 5th British title victory.
For Walker, it was the second quick defeat for a title. Two years ago he was destroyed in three rounds by Roman Karmazin for the European crown, although that was excused seeing as Karmazin went on to become a world champion. The way Walker was demolished here, though, must set bells ringing at Hennessey Promotions, for whom he fights. Whilst entertaining and always value for money, it seems Walker is destined to remain just below title level.
Moore, on the other hand, is going from strength to strength, and is still only 26 years of age. After a bizarre 2004 that saw him lose two on the trot unexpectedly, he is now back on track and giving his finest performances. With the British crown firmly under his rule, it would be nice to see him regain his old Commonwealth belt, and then maybe even try for the European title to complete the set. Who knows…with performances like these, we might even see him in for a world title shot in the future?
The best of the undercard saw lightweight John Murray march to another impressive win. With his aggressive style, body punching, established fan base and Manchester origin, he is being touted by some as the next Ricky Hatton, and he certainly gave a Hatton-esque showing as he steadily pummeled capable Russian Azad Azizov to defeat in three rounds.
Azizov looked ambitious and skilled in the first round, but as soon as Murray, now 14-0-0 and still only 20 years of age, began turning up the pressure, his opponent began to unwind. By the third, body shots had Azizov grimacing and backpedaling, and a follow up assault forced the stoppage. It will be interesting to see what happens when Murray steps up. His birthday is before the year is out, and his handlers are talking about a British title shot as he turns 21. Current champion Graham Earl would be a tough challenge, but if Murray really is the ‘next Ricky Hatton’, this would be a good way to start proving it.
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