Boxing: Fry surrenders title but Dolan makes most of 'mercy rule'

Steve Bunce
Wednesday 15 January 2014 04:06

The English boxers Mark Moran, Andrew Morris, Darren Barker and David Dolan all advanced to tomorrow night's semi-finals with wins in yesterday's quarter-finals at the Wythenshawe Forum.

However, the reigning Commonwealth Games champion Courtney Fry lost by a score of 27-22 to Nigeria's Jegvefumera Bone Albert in a light-heavyweight contest that never really found a rhythm.

Fry, 27, is one of England's best-ever amateur boxers, having won three domestic titles, the gold in Kuala Lumpur four years ago and a silver medal at the European Championships in 1998. Fry was the first British boxer to reach the European final for 37 years.

There was disappointment at super-heavyweight for Scotland's Ian Millarvie, who committed one of amateur boxing's most basic mistakes and stopped fighting when there was still a few seconds left on the clock. The crucial few seconds allowed Nigeria's Gozie Dijeh to connect three times and score three points to secure victory by a slender 26-24 margin in a fight that he simply did not deserve to win.

Moran easily halted Ireland's Martin Lindsay in two rounds at bantamweight, and Barker boxed superbly to beat Ghana's Emmanuel Lartey at light-welterweight, but the stoppage victories for Dolan and Morris seemed premature in their favour.

The lightweight Morris was adjudged to be 15 points clear of Nigeria's Saheed Adigun Salawu in round two when the fight was stopped under the so-called "mercy rule". However, the Nigerian constantly put Morris under pressure and was clearly not in danger or hurt.

Dolan's win at super-heavyweight was even more bizarre because when Niue's Star Tauasi was ruled out in the second round there was a genuine sense of disbelief in the hall. Dolan, it has to be admitted, was cleaner, faster and clearly technically superior, but whenever Tauasi connected with a right or a left hook he forced Dolan back and at the time of the stoppage, because of the 15-point rule, the fight looked poised to become very, very interesting. Dolan would have probably won, but the crowd of 538 were denied an entertaining fight.

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