Kid Galahad is new the WBC International super-bantamweight champion, after an impressive unanimous points victory over the experienced Jason Booth in Rotherham last night.
In a great match-up of youth versus experience, wily old fox Booth (8st 8lb 14oz), was coming into the fight on the back of three defeats in his last four outings, but he started well with that trusty elusive counter-punching style of his, and Galahad's (8st 9lb 10oz) gloves touched down right at the end of the first, as Booth tagged him cleanly with a decent overhand left which landed flush on the temple - much to the shock of the Rotherham crowd, and referee Mark Green rightly gave him a standing count.
The flash knock-down seem to wake Galahad up a little bit as he upped the tempo in the second round with some quality multiple-punch combinations, as Booth was struggling to get within range because of his young opponent's 'in-and-out' foot movement.
Galahad, whose real name is Abdul Barry Awad, was beginning to outwork the 34 year-old Booth, and a big left hand from Sheffield stylist made Booth sag to knees in the middle of the fourth, but the experienced Booth regained composure and his defences. This proved to be a massive turning point in the fight as it seemed to take a lot out of Nottingham-based fighter.
Galahad's confidence grew even more so in the fifth. His body punches were starting to land cleanly, and Booth was becoming less elusive as his foot movement dropped off alarmingly.
It was uncharted territory for the 21 year-old Galahad heading into the seventh round, as he'd only ever boxed six rounds twice before, but his fitness didn't let him down, as he had been whipped into excellent shape by the Ingles. Galahad's style doesn't over consume energy, and it was Booth who was looking like the one who was struggle to keep up with the tempo of the fight.
Galahad had the raucous Rotherham crowd on the edge of the seats in the seventh. He unleashed several flashy combinations, as Booth struggled to cope with the excellent variety and accuracy of his work. A stoppage looked on the cards, but Booth gritted his teeth and once again regained his defences and his composure.
British boxing stalwart Booth, who had his first European title fight when Galahad was only nine years of age, has thrilled the British boxing public over the years with countless numbers of boxing master-classes at title level, but it appears that his recent defeats to Molitor, Martinez and Quigg have taken everything out of him.
He was still letting the punches go but they were now lacking any real zest. Galahad now knew that he could walk through all of Booth's punches and he rocked Booth again in the eleventh with a massive right hand on the ropes, as Booth, now bleeding out of his mouth, had the look of a beaten man. A couple of decent body shots from Galahad followed and he finished the round by backing Booth up on to the ropes again with a four-punch assault.
Booth slipped to the canvass early in the twelfth and final round, mainly out of tiredness, but he dusted himself down and despite further attacks from Galahad, he held on to hear the final bell.
The scorecards read 120-109, 118-111 & 118-110, and Galahad was presented with the belt, which was once held by a certain Manny Pacquiao. If Galahad goes half as far as him, I think he will be a happy man.
Galahad (11-0) is definitely one to keep an eye on over the next few years, in a hot domestic super-bantamweight division. I'd like to see him mix it with the likes of Scott Quigg, Carl Frampton, and Rendall Munroe sooner rather than later, even though it appears that his promoter Mick Hennessy is targeting current European champion Kiko Martinez as his next opponent.
The Channel Five coverage might have given Galahad plenty of exposure, but let's hope that his promoter's contract with the terrestrial channel doesn't get in the way of him fighting fighters who are promoted by promoters who have television details with Sky Sports or other channels (a la Fury versus Price). British boxing needs these big domestic fights to happen, and the fighters want them, so hopefully boxing politics won't get in the way of them happening.
Booth (now 36-9) was his gracious self in defeat as usual, and he is now thought to be considering his future in the sport. He may step back down to bantamweight or hang up the gloves. I'd like to see him lace up on more time, and bow out with a victory.
Full undercard report to follow.