Boxing: Duffield defeated by Azeez
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Canning Town’s Charlie Duffield suffered a stoppage defeat in his bid for the Southern Area light-heavyweight title at the O2 Arena on Saturday.
The former West Ham amateur was outboxed and punished by Lewisham's classy Dan Azeez, who took the vacant belt after via a sixth-round stoppage on the undercard of Dillian Whyte's heavyweight clash with Oscar Rivas.
Azeez (9-0) caught the eye with his crisp timing and more title fights loom on the horizon, but for Duffield (7-2) it is major setback.
The 31-year-old, trained by Mark Tibbs, suffered his second stoppage defeat in the pro ranks and had no answer for Azeez's precise punch selection.
Referee Marcus McDonnell called an end to the action with six seconds remaining in the round six.
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Duffield, coming off four straight wins after a shock defeat to Slovakian journeyman Vladimir Idranyi in 2016, was hoping to take his chance on the big stage - taking the centre of the ring in the opening stanza.
He plodded forward in a lively opening three minutes, but returned to his corner with heavy swelling beneath his left eye - the result of a clubbing right hook from Azeez.
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Azeez was to enjoy more success with that weapon, uncorking a big blow in the dying seconds of round two.
Duffield was undeterred, though, marching forwards in the third with hopes of putting a dent in the Lewisham man.
But he was merely walking onto Azeez's hurtful right hands, which landed with increasing regularity as the rounds ticked by.
Well ahead on the cards as the fight approached the halfway point, 29-year-old Azeez put an end to the bout.
Sensing Duffield was beginning to fade, Azeez staggered his man with a tirade of big rights in the sixth and the towel promptly came in to save the brave Canning Town man from further punishment.
Azeez, who entered the ring a marginal favourite with the bookmakers, faces a bright future in pursuit of more honours.
For Duffield, it is back to the drawing board.