Boxing: Roberts takes time out

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The Independent Online

Steve Roberts is Britain's most active champion and after his 10th world title fight in 21 months on Saturday he sensibly announced that he will take a few months off.

Roberts, 29, extended his unbeaten record to 29 fights when he easily retained his World Boxing Federation light-middleweight title for the ninth time against the durable but limited Mexican Kirino Garcia at London's Elephant and Castle Leisure Centre.

Roberts won the WBF's version of the title back in June 2000 and has met a selection of challengers during a busy period and it is quite possible that the quietly spoken southpaw from West Ham is in the top five of the list of 19 British world champions at present.

On Saturday night in front of a devoted audience, Roberts performed his now familiar routine of cautious boxing that has made him such a joy to watch for purists but has not really made him a favourite with the fans.

"I have been boxing non-stop since I was nine and I think it is time for a break,'' said Roberts. "During the last two years I have had to box to the best of my ability a lot of times and I'm starting to feel very, very tired.'' Roberts has fought more world title fights since 2000 than Lennox Lewis, Joe Calzaghe and Naseem Hamed combined.

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