Boxing: Nelson handed home draw
Sunday 24 November 2002
Johnny Nelson's four-year reign as the World Boxing Organisation cruiserweight champion seemed to have ended as controversially as it began at the same Derby Storm arena last night. But thanks to the baffling benevolence of judges from America and Spain he remains in possession of the title by virtue of a draw against Panamanian Guillermo Jones in his 10th defence. "The decision stinks,'' declared Sky's ringside commentator Ian Darke, and he was spot on.
Nelson, nudging 36, should have paid the price this time for his irritating negativity. He was lackadaisical and repeatedly outpunched and outworked by an undistinguished opponent who complained bitterly that he had been robbed by a home-town decision.
One of the two US judges voted for Jones, the other scored it a draw while the Spaniard, astonishingly, gave it to Nelson. The verdict was as bad as the fight which tested the patience of the referee Paul Thomas as well as the crowd. Nelson insisted that he would not argue with it. "It was a messy fight and he looked busy but he was not landing.'' The Sheffield veteran has given some frustrating performances in his time but this surely was his nadir.
In contrast Bradford's Junior Witter, the British and Commonwealth light-welterweight champion, and a Nelson stablemate, has changed his style to become one of Britain's most exciting fighters. This was again in evidence in his two-round demolition of the Italian champion Guiseppe Lauri, his 10th successive victory inside the distance.
It was billed as a final eliminator for the WBO title but equally it advanced Witter towards his goal of a domestic showdown with the World Boxing Union champion Ricky Hatton. Witter stopped Lauri three rounds earlier than Hatton had done before him. The on-looking Hatton was suitably impressed, calling it a "flawless performance''. ''Let's get it on,'' he said to Witter. Let's hope they do.
As Voltaire once said, “Ice cream is exquisite. What a pity it isn’t illegal”
Latest in Sport
Mario Balotelli to Liverpool: Best memes as Twitter reacts to imminent £16m transfer
Manchester United transfer news: Louis van Gaal joins Arsenal and Chelsea in the race for Sami Khedira
Mario Balotelli takes 50 per cent pay cut to join Liverpool as Samuel as Eto’o waits in the wings if deal falls through
Crystal Palace next manager latest: Palace consider Ally McCoist - EXCLUSIVE
Click here for the full story." title="When a youngster asked for an autograph outside Manchester City's training ground, Balotelli demanded to know why the boy was playing truant. After the child revealed he was being bullied, Balotelli drove the boy and his mother to the school in question so he could tackle the bully himself. He demanded to see the headmaster to make him aware of the issue and then mediated between the two boys to resolve the problem. A source said: 'Mario feels strongly about bullying.' Click here for the full story." width="88" height="52" />Mario Balotelli: The funniest stories
- 1 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 2 Mother fed her daughter tapeworms to make her skinny for pageant
- 3 Crystal Palace next manager latest: Palace consider Ally McCoist - EXCLUSIVE
- 4 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 5 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Market Administrator (1st line Support, Trade Fl...
£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst (Windows, Active Dire...
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Data Support Analyst (Linux, Solaris, Windows Se...
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Helpdesk Support Engineer (Windows, MS Office, E...