MIKE'S VERDICT: Kelvin wakes us after the snoozefest

First published in Sport Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter

LAWRENCE Bennett promised there would fireworks at the Oasis Leisure Centre on Saturday night, and boy did we get them.

The problem with Bad Boy’s prediction was that he was sat in crowd when the pyrotechnics went off.

The 31-year-old Southern Area cruiserweight champion managed to secure victory in a war of attrition against Walsall’s Chris Keane in a British title eliminator.

To be honest, it was a snoozefest. Neither man wanted to engage, referee Terry O’Connor had to call them together on more than one occasion to remind them that were actually supposed to be fighting.

Midlands Area champion Keane only had one thing on his mind - a booming right hand to send Bennett to sleep.

But Bad Boy was too cute for that, he stayed out of range, popping out the occasional jab, just like against Jack Morris when he won his title back in March, and got the split decision.

Bennett himself said that it wasn’t a greatest fight, no kidding, but all that matters for him now is that his next fight could for the Lonsdale strap against Ovill McKenzie after the Commonwealth champion knocked out Jon-Lewis Dickinson in the second round.

If Bad Boy’s fight was a cure for insomnia, then Kelvin Young and Francis Tchoffo woke us all up.

The Cameroon-born Frenchman is nicknamed the War Machine and that is exactly what Penhill’s IBO super-middleweight inter-continental champion got.

The challenger, standing a little taller than five foot nothing, stunned the hometown favourite in the first round with booming left hooks that had Young rocked to his boots.

Wild and swinging Tchoffo may have been, but he was looking like he was going to be Young’s worst nightmare.

However, as the rounds went on the champion started to demonstrate his superior skills and hurt his challenger.

The fight lit up in the fourth when Young and Tchoffo collided heads first, with the challenger cut under his right eye.

The Frenchman was waiting for referee Howard Foster to have a stern word or two with Young but he waved the fight on.

Seconds later they collided again, this time Tchoffo was opened up above his left eye.

The short and stocky fighter came out in fifth all guns blazing, knowing that his wounds could end the fight prematurely.

And then the crowd went silent in the sixth as another big left hook from the challenger had Young on the seat of his pants.

The champion recovered, gathered his senses and looked to box at range knowing that his title was only just still in his grasp.

Tchoffo was game and gave his all, but Young’s fitness and skills told in the end as he claimed a majority decision.

On the undercard, Swindon-based Tariq Quaddus claimed a 58-56 points decision over Jamie Ambler in his first six-rounder, while Reading duo Thomas Jarvis and Tamuka Mucha scored routine shut-outs successes, while Joe Pigford stopped Hungarian Gergo Vari in round two.

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