Boxing: Redemption for Chi as Brodie takes it on the chin

Michael Brodie insisted he was ready to go to war in his quest to become Britain's most authentic world champion last night. Unfortunately, bravely as he fought, he lost the battle for the vacant World Boxing Council featherweight title when he was gunned down in seven rounds by the remorseless, two-fisted artillery of the Korean Injin Chi at the MEN Arena in Manchester.

Brodie, who was awarded a dubious draw on a recount when they fought at the same venue last October after Chi had been declared the winner, simply did not have sufficient fire power of his own to trouble the Korean this time.

The end came after two minutes 48 seconds of the seventh round. Brodie, who had been felled in the first, was caught by a clubbing combination to the head and counted out on his hands and knees by the Italian referee.

It was an ignominious ending, which Brodie himself acknowledged afterwards when, with tears welling up through his swollen eyes, he vowed: "I'll be back. He caught me with a good uppercut. No disrespect, because he was a good kid, but on the night, I just couldn't do it. But there's a lot left me in yet. I'm not finished.''

Maybe not but there are those in boxing who believe the 29-year-old from Salford should consider calling it a day after such a bad night. Brodie is one of British boxing's true warriors, but his has been a hard, bruising, 38-fight career which suddenly seemed to catch up with him.

He lacked the snap and mobility he showed last time against Chi and allowed himself to be drawn into exactly the sort of slugfest he did not need. To get the better of the Korean, Brodie had to stand off, boxing, and then bring in his body shots, but the cute Chi simply never permitted Brodie to set himself for this.

Brodie had barely won a round, losing the first by two points because of the brief knock-down from a right to the temple and losing the fourth by another two points following a deduction by the referee when a head-butt caused Chi's left eye to be cut.

The injury did not bother the Korean, who throughout looked fresher, stronger and more confident than he had when they last met. He also looked a class above Brodie, both in weight and technique.

Cheered on by two coach-loads of supporters from a Korean community in Surrey, Chi, his hair dyed orange for the occasion, boxed like clockwork. Brodie was simply never in the fight on what he had declared would be the biggest night of his life.

Re-matches are rarely as good as the original and so it was with this encounter. As before, it was blistering and bruising - but this time it was also utterly one-sided.

Brodie has never had much luck in his fights for the WBC crown, generally regarded as the most genuine of all in boxing's alphabet soup. He has fought for the title three times now and surely cannot contemplate another.

Before the fight, Brodie had professed himself less interested in enticing Naseem Hamed out of retirement than in a bout with the Prince's nemesis, Marco Antonio Barrera. He could challenge Scott Harrison for the lesser-rated World Boxing Organisation title, but might be better advised in joining Hamed on the sidelines.

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