Boxing: Robinson's fairy-tale: Welshman wins world title

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The Independent Online
STEVE ROBINSON'S thrilling defeat, on a split decision, of the battling John Davison for the World Boxing Organisation featherweight title completed an astonishing few days for the Welshman.

A fortnight ago, Robinson gave up his pounds 52-a-week storeman's job to concentrate solely on boxing and, until last Thursday, thought he would be putting his feet up in front of the television on Saturday night to watch Davison fight Colombia's Ruben Palacio.

Instead, Palacio was sent home on medical grounds after testing HIV positive and Robinson stepped in for his biggest purse of around pounds 13,000 to save the show at Washington, County Durham, and wreck Davison's dreams of the title.

The initial intention of Wales's first world champion since Howard Winstone in 1968 is to figure in a charity event to raise money for Palacio and his family.

'I was very shocked to get this chance. I didn't even ask about the money, it was the title I wanted,' Robinson said. 'I thought I'd done enough to win at the end.'

Robinson achieved his win on the back of a defeat, having lost a decision to Medhi Labdouni in France only two months ago.

Robinson's worth as an opponent had been the subject of much discussion, but now he can look ahead to a defence against Colin McMillan, the leading contender and ex-champion, in 120 days if McMillan is ready after his shoulder operation.

Age and fight delays had caught up with the 34-year-old Davison. Two cancellations of his challenge against Palacio meant he was in training for five months. 'That's too long for anybody,' he said.

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