Boxing - Galahad stops Dickens for British super bantam title

Sheffield's Kid Galahad (15-0) is the British super bantamweight champion after a pulsating battle with James 'Jazza' Dickens (16-1) ended in the tenth round with Dickens' corner pulling him out. A flush left hand had sent the Liverpudlian down moments before at the Magna Centre, Rotherham.

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Kid Galahad (Getty)

Dickens (8st 9lbs 8oz) came into the ring to Peter Gabriel's classic 'Solisbury Hill', and held Galahad's (8st 9lbs 5oz) stare firmly as the ring announcer conducted the neccessaries. Referee Mark Green presided over a cagey start, but when it warmed up in the opener, southpaw Dickens was slightly better off from the early exchanges as Galahad switched stances.

Galahad tried to keep Dickens at range with a jab but presented the Liverpool fighter with a target due to his hands down style. He was clipped by a speculative left swing, but gained more control in the second half of the round.

Dickens bursts of activity matched Galahad for speed and unsettled his rhythm in the third. Swelling had appeared above Galahad's right eye, and he was caught with a right just before the bell.

The tidier work came from Galahad in the fourth, and while Dickens was lightning-fast when he stepped in to deliver the left, by the fifth round Galahad had got used to the way Dickens was closing the gap and was able to keep him on the outside and make him miss.

As Galahad dealt with the close range attacks in the sixth he was warned by Mike Green for holding Dickens down. The seventh was a better round for Dickens, who started off with two eye catching punches and hadn't yet showed any signs of slowing down. He backed Galahad onto the ropes after a right jab got through and ended the round as the aggressor.

Dominic Ingle told his fighter that Dickens was about to fade. This was perhaps a little premature as Dickens had a good eighth round, smothering Galahad when he stepped in and continuing with good upper body movement, which made him a difficult target.

But in the ninth it looked as if Galahad had finally tamed Dickens, keeping him under control with his jab and wearing him down. Dickens mustered a good left hand, before Mark Green took a point off Galahad for holding and pushing down with half a minute left in the round.

In the tenth, Galahad continued to pile on the pressure. With Dickens looking in real trouble for the first time in the fight, Galahad connected with several accurate shots before a flush left hand sent Dickens down. The game scouser hauled himself up and was prepared to carry on, but his corner signalled to Mark Green, who waved it off. He had taken a lot of shots before the knockdown.

Dickens had given everything, but couldn't quite match Galahad and was worn down by an accurate jab in the later rounds. Dickens bursts of activity gave Galahad a fair few problems, and made the fight close and exciting. Dickens will no doubt challenge for the belt again soon.

After the fight, Galahad said: "I knew Jazza was going to come out fast, but I just knew, the second I landed a clean shot on him, thats it - boom."

Dominic Ingle admitted that the fight was close. He told Richie Woodhall:  "Barry never really got a clean shot on him all night, but when he did it was a finishing shot. He put up an excellent display. For nine or ten rounds, Jazza was in and out, landing the shots, and sometimes it looked like Barry was going to lose the fight, but the first time he's hit him with a power shot, it was more or less game over. Fantastic result."

Galahad's promoter Mick Hennessy said: "We knew that Barry needed a world class performance to beat Jazza Dickens - he's a quality fighter.

"Carl Frampton's got a voluntary of his European title coming up shortly, and then Barry's going to be his manadatory. Let's see if he steps up and fights Kid Galahad. I don't think he will, but that's the fight we want."

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