Welch claims British crown

Boxing
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The Independent Online
Scott Welch gained revenge, took the British heavyweight title and claimed the vacant Commonwelath crown last night by stopping James Oyebola in the 10th round at Brighton's Metropole Hotel. Oyebola, who stands 6ft 9in, was rescued by the referee, Dave Parris, after taking his second count of a brawling, and often untidy fight.

The quality of the bout meant little to Welch's home town fans who saw him reverse Oyebola's WBC international title win over him in Atlantic City 18 months ago.

It became a matter of the fitter and stronger surviving but Welch always seemed to have the edge. He suddenly found the extra stamina to catch Oyebola's huge frame on the ropes and the defending champion slid down the ring post and took a count from the referee.

Soon afterwards the action was over. Welch had built up a good lead, only to see it whittled away by Oyebola until his decisive finish settled the argument. Oyebola was floored for the first time in round three when a solid left followed by a right cross, which landed after the bell but was on its way before then, sent Oyebola sprawling. The count was continued after the bell.

Welch piled in for the finish in round four, but hard as he tried he could not land the telling punches and Oyebola managed to wriggle out of the crisis. Oyebola's left eye was swelling badly under the attack, but as Welch lost his spark the fight settled into a sries of gruelling exchanges.

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