Kelvin “Young Gun” Young came of age last night at the Oasis Leisure Centre in Swindon when he edged Bristol’s Martin Robins by 97-95 points to claim the vacant Southern Area super middleweight title.
The pair had met before in November 2010 when Young nicked a razor thin 39-38 verdict over a determined Robin’s in Bath. And again, the two closely-matched fighters electrified those in attendance by both playing their part in a wonderful contest.
Kelvin, who was 10-1 (0) going in and the reigning International Masters champion, started the fight calmly and let his punches go sharply in lovely organised clusters of three.
Robin’s work too had the hallmark of quality. He so often would roll underneath the jab and come up with hard straight punches which would force the well-schooled Young to go on the defensive.
By the fourth, both were displaying the effects of a hard championship contest on their faces. Martin’s angular visage was being eroded by a steady stream of leather from the Swindonean, and Young’s nose was splattered with crimson.
In the middle section of the contest, Kelvin attempted to tuck up on the ropes and take punches on his gloves as Robins swarmed in. In the fifth, Young attempted to feint more to set up his attacks but Robins seemed to seldomly fall for the bait.
The pair had some torrid exchanges in the sixth session. Halos of blood and sweat plumed into the air. Robins had cuts underneath both eyes and Young was starting to fight with his mouth open and his hands lower down.
Martin took the seventh and eighth on my card with his educated aggression. He was able to get underneath Young’s efforts and spear the local man’s head with broom-handle straight shots. But Kelvin closed the contest well over the last two sessions. He put some real spite into his punches and nullified Martin’s attempts to work in close by cannily tying his man up.
The English super-middleweight title might not be a bad target for Young. At only 24, he still has time on his side. However, those guiding him will need to time his progress to British title level with care as Groves, Degale and Paul Smith are at the moment far too seasoned for the Penhill prospect.