01.12.07 - Ian Napa retained the British bantamweight crown Friday night with a tremendous effort on a Frank Maloney promotion at London's Newham Leisure Centre, posting a hard fought unanimous decision win over former champion Martin Power in a rematch to their 2005 clash.
Article posted on 02.12.2007
The reigning champion was hard pressed early by Power, who put together quick combinations and showed little ill effects from losing his previous two bouts to Commonwealth champion Tshifhiwa Munyai.
But Napa was undaunted and soon took over the bout, coming forward behind a sharp jab to push Power back, punishing the challenger with an energy sapping body assault.
The challenger couldn't keep Napa from coming forward and "Dappa" picked up rounds by brilliantly outboxing the taller Power. The final frame was a dogfight with the tenacious Power marshaling every ounce of strength for one last push to take the twelfth and final round.
When the cards were read, Napa retained his title via scores of 117-112 and 117-111 (twice). Napa improves to 16-6 (1) while Power drops to 19-3 (8).
On the undercard, South Africa's towering Commonwealth bantamweight titlist Tshifhiwa Munyai continued to impress, fighting for the second straight contest at featherweight and putting in a world class performance in seeing off Ugandan Abdul "Cobra" Tebazalwa over eight rounds on points 79-74.
The hard punching Sweden based Tebazalwa, 9-2 (7), was coming off a narrow split decision loss against WBF feather titlist Choi Tseveenpurev just a month ago and had the confidence press his argument, but Munyai, 15-0-1 (8), nullified those efforts with his superb ability to fight at any distance and adapt to any style.
Also on the bill, featherweight hot prospect Akaash Bhatia, 9-0 (2), continued to improve, raking opponent Riaz Durgahed, 6-11-1 (1), with lightning quick combinations to take every session of their six rounder, 60-54.
Lightweight Henry Castle, 15-4 (8), got back on track with a bruising 78-75 points victory over Kevin O'Hara, 13-3 (3), after eight rounds.
French import Christopher Sebire, 12-1 (7), added to the woes of welterweight Robert Lloyd Taylor, 13-7 (4), handing the Englishman a third straight loss, winning the six rounder 60-55.
Light heavyweight Tony Salem, 7-0 (3), stayed perfect, stopping opponent Carl Wild, 5-7 (1), when the Sheffield based boxer couldn't answer the bell for the fourth round of a scheduled six.
A slew of four round bouts capped off the card, with welterweight Scott Woolford, 5-1 (0), returning from a loss to post a difficult win over previously unbeaten Dave Ryan, 4-1 (1), by a score of 39-38, light middle Jamie Radford, 2-0 (1), gave fellow prospect Dave Murray, 2-1 (0), his first loss via a stoppage at 1:47 of the first round.
Super middle Dwayne Lewis, 2-0-1 (1), won his fight with Lee Nicholson, 3-11-1 (0), when the Doncaster man couldn't answer the bell for the second round and welter Ross Hewitt, 1-0 (0), won his professional debut with a 39-37 points verdict against veteran Kristian Laight, 5-38-5 (0).
Frank Maloney Promotions returns to action next Saturday, December 8, at the Robin Park Centre in Wigan, England where the UK's top light middleweight, Jamie Moore, challenges European champion Zaurbek Baysangurov, Gary Woolcombe meets Marcus Portman for the vacant British light middleweight championship, Commonwealth welterweight champion Ali Nuumbembe defends against hot prospect Craig Watson and English super flyweight titlist Jamie McDonnel faces off with English flyweight champ Chris Edwards for the vacant British super flyweight crown.