Paul Smith Rips Middleweight Title From Tony Quigley

Andy ScottCorrespondent INovember 1, 2009

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 10: Paul Smith celebrates winning his fight against Alexander Polizzi during the WBU international Middleweight championship at Liverpool Olympia on March 10, 2007 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by John Gichigi/Getty Images)
John Gichigi/Getty Images

Paul Smith became British Super Middleweight Champion on Friday night after a grueling 12-round decision over rival Tony Quigley.

The two scousers had traded insults long before they stepped into the ring and the sheer hatred between the two had created an air of interest that has been lacking in domestic boxing for quite some time.

The fight itself was not a great spectacle but came to life in two epic final rounds.

The fight was expected to have an explosive opening, but both fighters were too eager to land the big shots and were entangled in clenches for most of the early sessions. Quigley settled into his evening's work well despite pressure from Smith, who was looking to offload his right hand at every opportunity.

Quigley had won the title with a brilliant performance against another scouser, Tony Dodson, and looked like he may have had too much for his more experienced opponent.

Smith came to life after finding the target with the right hand, but was hampered by a wound over his right eye that resulted from a clash of heads.

The fight was tantalisingly close, with neither fighter showing any sign of backing down or trying to use their undoubted boxing ability.

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The balance swung into the challenger's favour when Quigley showed signs of fatigue in the 10th. The endless hugging and clenching had taken it's toll on the champion and Smith did not waste his opportunity. Quigley had no answer to the clubbing right hands and the head movement and footwork had eluded him as he was in danger of being stopped on his feet.

The bout was given to Smith by majority decision, probably the correct result in the overall scheme of the fight.  I had Smith the winner by two rounds, the final six minutes being the deciding factor.

It was not a pretty spectacle by any means but fans can look forward to a second installment after Frank Warren promised a re-match that will surely generate just as much interest.


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