Andy Morris, the British Featherweight champion, retained his belt for the first time at the Meadowbank Arena, Edinburgh, Scotland, with a close but unanimous decision over gutsy challenger Rendall Munroe. The fans were treated to a superb display of boxing in the chief support to the Arthur – Gulyakevich European title match up, but the champion always looked in control as his cleaner punching and sharper skills gave him the edge throughout to claim a 116-112, 116-112, 117-111 decision.
Munroe, just 10-0-0 coming in, gave it his absolute all, however, and his sheer work rate and effort had Frank Maloney, in Morris’ corner, looking slightly anxious in the later rounds. The Leicester challenger’s southpaw, all action style made the fight hugely entertaining, and Morris had to work for his win. After bossing the opening three rounds, Morris allowed Munroe to gamely fight his way back into the match, but Morris went up another gear in the 8th, rocking the challenger with a series of lightning quick right hand leads. The unbeaten Leicester challenger, with funky designs and pictures shaved into his short haircut, looked on the verge of being worn down, but kept punching away, and as Morris tired, he even managed to take over in the last two rounds as the two swung away to give a grandstand finish.
Overall though, there was little doubt that the champion looked the classier man in there. Neither were particularly big punchers, but the more authoritative shots came from Andy Morris, now 14-0-0 (4), who also exhibited the better defensive skills. At just 23 years of age, he has a good future, despite claims in the interview that he was not impressed with his performance. “I just couldn’t get out of second gear,” he exclaimed, “I hurt him in there, but couldn’t get up to 3rd or 4th gear to finish him. There’s a lot more to come from me, a hell of a lot more.”
Munroe, also fairly youthful at 25, also emerged with credit, despite picking up the first blemish on his log. His punches were often of the slapping variety and lacked quality, but his fitness, heart and determination were especially impressive. He can come again at British title level, whilst Morris can expect to pick up the vacant European crown recently relinquished by fellow-Englishman Nicky Cook, who is now gunning for a world title.
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