Williams denied in ‘Rocky’ style showdown

PUBLISHED: 11:55 19 January 2012

canning town fighter Leon Williams

canning town fighter Leon Williams


Canning Town Gym fighter Leon Williams lost his British cruiserweight crown in a classic fight at York Hall

Nottingham fighter Shane McPhilbin took the British cruiserweight title when he halted Leon Williams in the last round of a fight straight out of a Rocky movie at York Hall on Friday night and the challengers are already lining up for his first defence.

Williams, from Canning Town’s TKO gym, has already issued a plea for a return and unbeaten Tony Conquest, who McPhilbin replaced on Friday, also fancies his chances.

The Midlands Area champion came in as a substitute when Conquest was forced to pull out through illness, but after recovering the Southern Area champion hopes to get his title chance in March against McPhilbin.

Game Shane looked a certain loser until the dramatic last round and Conquest, who was a guest commentator for the BoxNation TV channel, was quick to praise his victory.

“It was great the way he turned the fight in the final round to clinch the title – now I hope he will give me a chance,” he said.

However Williams reckons he deserves a rematch after holding a massive lead against a rival who held on for survival – and had points taken off by the referee.

The champion was clearly winning without really sparkling, but fell apart as his rival poured on the punches in the final round and Williams slumped to the canvas twice before referee Marcus McDonnell signalled the end.

A return clash could follow the chief supporting fight on the show when former Commonwealth champion Sam Sexton was awarded a fifth-round points win over Larry Olubamiwo when their fight was brought to a premature end.

A bad gash brought blood pouring from Sexton’s head in the fourth round and referee Ken Curtis intervened a round later giving the fight to Sexton by a single point – big Larry understandably presses for a rematch.

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