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Swindon's Young lifts IBO Intercontinental crown
SWINDON’S Kelvin Young admitted he was close to tears when he was announced as the new IBO Intercontinental super middleweight champion on Saturday night.
The Penhill fighter was awarded a unanimous decision against Bulgarian Alexey Ribchev at the Oasis - a victory which is already moved the Swindonian up to seventh in the British rankings and will present him with the chance to significantly further his career.
Young faced a thorough examination from his experienced opponent and spent much of the early of rounds penned to the ropes as he struggled to get on the front foot, but after finding his range with his jab and improving his footwork he worked his way back into the contest before taking the decision.
An accidental clash of heads left Ribchev with a cut above his right eye at the end of the fifth round but the tide had already started to turn in Young’s favour.
Despite taking a number of heavy shots himself, Young was able to outwork the Bulgarian in the final three rounds to claim the title.
Ribchev himself claimed victory after the final bell and showed enough during the contest to have a legitimate claim for the belt, but it was Young who was awarded the unanimous decision which sent the vocal home crowd wild.
“It was a tough old fight for me because he has a winning record and he travels Europe to fight the best, and he came here to win the belt even though he only had a few weeks notice,” Young told the Advertiser.
“He thought he would come here to knock me out but I stuck to the plan given to me by Rich (Farnan, trainer) and I stuck it out well and got the win.
“I was nearly in tears when they said who the winner was, it was really emotional. I can’t explain how much it means to me and I don’t think it will really sink in for a while to be honest.
“I knew he was tough and strong but I thought he would slow down a lot quicker than he did, but he was a very tough boy.”
Young was quick to thank the sizeable home crowd as well as trainer Richard Farnan and promoter Keith Mayo for their help in what was the biggest win of his career to date, allowing him to enjoy the Christmas period with his friends and family.
“The whole of Swindon has got behind me and I can’t thank them enough to be honest,” he said.
“I’m going to enjoy Christmas now with my missus and kids, and all my family, but I will probably sleep with this belt for a while now.
“This Christmas is going to better than the last one when I was coming off a loss to Tony Hill, and it was hard to really enjoy it and get into everything.
“A year makes a massive difference and I can’t thank Rich Farnan enough because he’s the man who has got me to this level and has helped me push on. He’s the one who comes up with the gameplans and helps me stick to them.
“I have to thank Keith Mayo too for getting these opportunities for me and I love them all to bits.”
Young’s victory came after a packed undercard which produced some good boxing and mixed results for local fighters.
Ben Fitch opened the KM Promotions show with a dominant performance against Richard Thomas which saw him stop his opponent in round two.
The Swindon boxer, coming off a loss in his first professional fight, was second best in the first round but came out firing in the second round as he landed a series of left-right combinations which eventually forced the referee to step in to stop the contest.
Lawrence Bennett, also from Swindon, went into his bout with Courtney Richards protecting an unbeaten professional record but was always second best to his opponent before going down 39-37.
The penultimate fight of the night saw Malmesbury’s Joe Hughes take on Dougie Curran, with the Wiltshire boxer dominant from start to finish as he won 60-54.
There were also wins for Ricky O’Brien and Thomas Jarvis who beat Sid Razak and Matt Seawright respectively.
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