Boxing: Takaloo retains title despite hand injury

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The Independent Online

It took Takaloo less than two minutes to retain his World Boxing Union light-middleweight title against Jose Rosa Gomez but sadly he injured his hand and had to go to the full 12 rounds.

Takaloo, who was born in Iran but raised in Margate, dropped his challenger from the Dominican Republic in round one at York Hall, Bethnal Green, on Saturday night but injured his right hand in the process and from that point, until the final bell, he was unable to finish the job.

However, Takaloo maintained his authority throughout and fully deserved the decision of the three ringside judges, who scored the contest 120-107, 120-107 and 118-109. But the fact that he won every round surely raises the question of credibility about Gomez.

It was typical stuff from Takaloo, whose heart and desire are his major assets, but it was certainly tedious and a great relief when it was officially over. It was so awful at times that even Takaloo's promoter, Frank Warren, screamed advice for all to hear at Takaloo in round eight and it was not pleasant to listen to.

Now Takaloo and Warren must try to convince the promoter Barry Hearn to risk his so-called world champion Richard Williams in a bizarre unification fight which in reality would just be a British title fight.

"I knew the hand was gone in the first round but I made a decision not to go mad because I remembered something that Joe Calzaghe told me,'' Takaloo said. "Joe told me not to worry about the crowd or the TV and just to get the job done. That is what I did.''

There was a disappointing and controversial ending to the much-hyped debut of Warren's new signing Haida Ali over four rounds at featherweight. Ali won the Commonwealth Games gold medal last year for Pakistan and Warren had claimed he was his best featherweight signing since Naseem Hamed.

However, most neutral observers believed Uganda's Buster Dennis deserved the points verdict. However, the referee Richie Davies, raised Ali's hand and awarded him a tight 39-38 victory.