Boxing : No stopping Akinwande
Sunday 12 January 1997
The fight may have been for the World Boxing Organisation championship but the American public wrote it off as a showdown between two moderate British heavyweights. Although this might apply to Welch, the undefeated Akinwande proved himself to be on a different level and with his awkward style and accurate punching will be a match for anyone. The dream of Welch, nicknamed the Brighton Rock, to become the first British white world heavyweight champion this century was never going to be realised and in the end he did well to take Akinwande to points.
Akinwande was always in control and comfortably took the opening rounds, using his reach to keep away from the wild lurches of Welch. Try as he may the challenger could not get near the body he had targeted as Akinwande's weak spot and his advances were often just swatted away by the champion.
Welch showed his frustrations as he steamrollered in on Akinwande, but these forays rather than do any lasting damage merely served to show the lack of ideas Welch had brought into the ring. Two obvious butts from Welch both earned warnings off the referee, Bill Connors, and Akinwande stepped up the pace with body shots of his own to weaken his tiring opponent.
A right hand buckled Welch in the sixth, but Akinwande could not find the finishing punch. The last six rounds saw Welch hanging on, intent on taking it to the scorecards, but his refusal to launch any attack drew boos from the crowd.
Bigger challenges now await Akinwande who is in line for a shot at Lennox Lewis, if his fellow countryman can beat America's Oliver McCall for the World Boxing Council title next month. That will be Akinwande's real fight for credibility.
Latest in Sport
Arsenal players boo chief-executive Ivan Gazidis after being told they would not get bonus for FA Cup triumph
Brendan Rodgers future: Odds shorten on Liverpool manager being sacked, despite Jurgen Klopp announcement
Liverpool transfer news: James Milner nearing Anfield switch, but club baulk at £32.5m Christian Benteke release clause
Fifa corruption: Europe plots to stage an 'alternative World Cup' in place of Russia 2018
Betting company 'refuse to pay' after student wins £1,000 from 50p bet on Roger Federer
- 1 Man on naked bike ride gets ejected after becoming aroused
- 3 Ayyan Ali: Pakistan's top model now appears in the courtroom rather than on the catwalk
- 4 Fifa corruption: Europe plots to stage an 'alternative World Cup' in place of Russia 2018
- 5 Jaden Smith wears gender fluid dress to high school prom with Hunger Games actress
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Why this year's general election was the most unfair in Britain's history
£12000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: New Full-time, Part-time and Fr...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Due to rapid expansion, this family owned comp...
£26500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is going through a period o...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's fastest growing, multi...