THE biggest conundrum facing the promoter of a hot prospect is when to step up the level of competition. Is he ready to take on the challenge of a seasoned champion?
Hatton promoted super bantamweight contender Scott Quigg 23-0 (16) proved he was ready in emphatic style Saturday night October 22,as he punished Jason Booth 36-8 (15) forcing the Nottingham veteran to retire at the end of round seven, taking the
British title back to Bury in a pulsating atmosphere at Bolton’s Reebok stadium.
From the opening bell the 22-year-old made “2 smooth “look every inch his 34 years as he pressed the action forcing the champion onto the back foot. Booth landed the occasional jab and body shot but it was obvious from the start he didn’t have the fire power to keep the naturally bigger man off him for 12 rounds.
After the cagy opener Quigg upped the pace in the second digging in some hard shots to the liver and momentarily Booth opted to trade punches down stairs before thinking better of it. The power of Quigg’s work to the body was audible at ringside and when Booth countered with shots of his own a smile crept across the face of the challenger as if to say “That isn’t going to stop me”.
The relentless pressure of the younger man was making Booth uncomfortable as he just couldn’t keep the marauding challenger off him for a moment, breathing heavily as he retreated to the sanctuary of his corner. Quigg’s body attack was beginning to pay off in round four as Booth winced as another sickening blow landed behind the elbow.
Booth’s army of fans had now quietened; wise to the fact it wasn’t going to be another glorious chapter in the career of the veteran warrior, although he was going out on his shield.
The rounds were beginning to become more hurtful for the champion as the fifth saw him take a beating with Quigg intensifying his body attack and shots down the middle of Booth’s guard. All that Booth could muster in return were a few pitter patter punches before he retreated into his defensive shell. Promoter Frank Maloney had an anguished look on his face as he and Booth’s corner had words between rounds, perhaps discussing pulling Booth out of the contest.
The sixth followed the pattern of the previous rounds as Booth simply couldn’t match the work rate of the Bury man, and was pounded to head and body for the full three minutes of the session. Tellingly, and right in front of me at ringside, Booth let out a huge sigh with a resigned expression on his face as if he had given his all and it wasn’t enough against a strong, powerful and hungry challenger ,as he returned to his corner. He continued into round seven but was under fire immediately as Quigg sensed the stoppage was on, firing away at the reddened body of Booth. The Nottingham warriors grip on the British title was all but over as he returned to his corner a thoroughly beaten man. Frank Maloney was quickly up on the ring apron, and a short conversation later saw Booth retire at the end of round seven.
In his post fight interview with Sky Sports Scott Quigg was full of praise for Booth “To win this British title means a hell of a lot” said Quigg, “ To beat Jason and share a ring with such a great fighter makes it even more worthwhile”
Booth was quick to praise Quigg’s clinical display “I could of gone on a bit more” said the former champion, “But there was no chance, he was breaking me down with some clever boxing” Despite such a one sided beating Booth was adamant it wasn’t the end of his long career “I will go back to the gym and we might come down a weight” pointing to the fact he has been campaigning above his natural weight class. With this win fight fans are one step closer to the possibility of Quigg and Carl Frampton facing off in the New Year in a contest that can only be spectacular.
In the chief support Welshman Kerry Hope got a majority decision victory over Tony Hill in a British title eliminator for the Middleweight championship. In a close fight, I scored it a draw, Hope dropped Hill heavily in the last round to eke out a win.
The highlights of the undercard saw unbeaten light welterweight prospect Karl Place have a tougher than expected points win over Bulgarian import Ivan Godor despite winning every round. Place was caught several times with big over hand rights and will need to improve his defensive work at championship level.
Making his debut with a horde of travelling fans, Danny Price had a ridiculously easy 47 second blow out of Michal Tomko who had one win in twelve contests. The opening bout of the evening saw Glenn Foot maintain his unbeaten record with a six round points win over Ali Shah.