Robinson has second fairy-tale victory in sights

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The Independent Online

Steve Robinson was called the Cinderella champion when he beat Sunderland's John Davison in 1993 to win the World Boxing Organisation featherweight title.

Steve Robinson was called the Cinderella champion when he beat Sunderland's John Davison in 1993 to win the World Boxing Organisation featherweight title.

Robinson accepted the fight at less than 48 hours' notice when the champion, Colombia's Ruben Palacios, failed a medical. At the time Robinson was earning just £53 a week and he had lost nine of his 23 fights. "I had nothing to lose and I jumped at the fight because I knew I had a chance at beating Davison," he said.

Tonight Robinson is in another world title fight when he once again starts as underdog in a challenge for the World Boxing Union featherweight title against Cassius Baloyi, of South Africa, at the Ebbw Vale Leisure Centre.

The win over Davison was followed by seven defences in Cardiff during a two-year period that ended in September 1995 when Robinson was stopped by Naseem Hamed.

Robinson has never been given full credit for some of his defences and his trio of wins over the former British world champions Colin McMillan, Duke McKenzie and Paul Hodkinson should have been considered formidable.

In the summer of 1995 Hamed decided to move from super-bantamweight to featherweight and the WBO decided that he was their No 1 contender. Robinson had no choice but to agree terms for a fight that few people imagined he could win. Hamed won in the eighth round when a left landed on the resilient Robinson's chin and sent him down.

Robinson is now 31, and his last two fights ended in defeat. Tonight, unlike the previous time he challenged for the title when he met Davison, he does have a lot to lose. He shocked Davison, but Baloyi is the leading featherweight in the world behind Hamed and another fairy-tale ending is unlikely.

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