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.
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage
Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour
Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason
Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama
Latest in Sport
Daniel Sturridge injury latest: Liverpool striker says he is 'closer to fitness each day'
Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal player ratings: How did Ozil and Welbeck do in Germany?
Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal: Mesut Ozil given the worst rating possible by German newspaper Bild after poor performance
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Bayern Munich vs Manchester City player ratings: Joe Hart? Thomas Muller? Jerome Boateng? Who was the star man?
- 2 Scottish independence: What you shouldn't tweet about if you want to avoid jail today
- 3 Scottish independence: Five reasons Salmond is secretly hoping for a 'No' vote
- 4 Isis plan to 'behead random member of the public' in Sydney thwarted by Australian police
- 5 Scottish independence: Andy Murray backs Yes campaign in eleventh hour decision
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Promising volunteer Trustee op...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...
£110 - £130 per hour: Randstad Education Reading: Psychology Teacher needed fo...
£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Randstad Education are curren...