McCRACKEN EDGES HOME : Boxing
Saturday 11 February 1995
Robert McCracken had to battle to win a Lonsdale Belt outright at the Aston Villa Leisure Centre last night, edging his local rival, Paul Wesley, by half a point after 12 gruelling rounds to retain his British light- middleweight title.
McCracken finally held off Wesley's spirited challenge in the last round to be awarded the verdict by 117.5 points to 117. It was desperately close throughout, and McCracken's future in the 11 stone division could now be limited. He had to work extra hard to make the weight and may now move up to full middleweight to continue his career in a more fashionable division.
Wesley had not fought for a year, and had won only six of his previous 20 bouts, so McCracken was not expected to be extended in his second defence. However, the 25-year-old champion is not as strong as he once was at the weight, and Wesley took every opportunity to target the taller man's body.
McCracken was clearly hurt in the fourth by two rights to the side of the head as the fight warmed up. Wesley, himself, had been troubled by a viral problem and looked to be running out of steam in the sixth, but he found a second wind and never allowed the champion a moment to compose himself.
It was an absorbing rather than outstanding contest - and importantly was fought out in a noisy, but ordery atmosphere.
Extra security had been provided to deal with any crowd problems, because McCracken's last title bout against Steve Foster set off a riot in Birmingham last September.
Latest in Sport
Pornhub: Cheeky Liverpool fan uploads Philippe Coutinho wonder-goal video to adult website
Diego Costa keeps coin thrown at him during Capital One Cup final
Lukas Podolski corner: Has the Arsenal forward taken the worst corner of all time?
Ireland 19 England 9 player ratings: Jonathan Sexton? Devin Toner? Alex Goode? Who was the star man in Dublin?
Eden Hazard didn't like the champagne on offer in the Chelsea dressing room
- 1 Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face death penalty
- 2 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 Spiritual leader allegedly manipulated 400 men into removing testicles to be 'closer to God'
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
£24000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Graduate/Junior Software Deve...
£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An experienced Sales Executive ...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Night Porters are required to join a family-ow...
£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Recruitment Genius Ltd continue...