Akinwande stops Williams to become WBO champion

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The Independent Online
Henry Akinwande left Britain in 1994 as a successful heavyweight who was somewhat short of celebrity appeal. Now the Dulwich-born fighter is Britain's only world heavyweight champion after stopping America's Jeremy Williams in three rounds to win the World Boxing Organisation title in Indio, California, on Saturday night.

The 6ft 7in Florida-based Akinwande took the title relinquished by Riddick Bowe and the red carpet will be rolled out if he decides to put his crown at stake in the country of his birth.

"Henry's welcome back at any time," John Morris, the British Board of Control secretary, said. "I'd like to see him back. All credit to Henry for winning one of the major titles. He's a very good boxer, got wonderful reflexes and in entertainment value clearly he's sharpened up."

Williams, 23, had lost only once in 27 fights, but he was floored by a left jab, straight right combination before the 30-year-old Akinwande moved in after 43 seconds of the third.

"He threw lots of combinations," Akinwande said. "I set him up. I knew I could match him punch for punch."

Akinwande fought for England, went to the Seoul Olympics in 1988 and appeared in four successive ABA finals in 1986-89, winning two and losing two.