Boxing: Ryan Clark and Steve Swinburn defeated in front of home crowd, while Amir Unsworth wins title
Ryan Clark’s dreams of lifting the Midlands Area super-middleweight title were ended in brutal fashion by Martin Concepcion.
The Lincoln boxer was roared on by a sold-out crowd at the North Kesteven Leisure Centre, in North Hykeham, an outstanding achievement which demonstrated the 23-year-old’s huge appeal.
Against the veteran Concepcion, a former British and Commonwealth light-middleweight title challenger, Clark began well and some heavy shots in the opening round looked to have the 31-year-old in some trouble.
But Clark was knocked down in the second and fourth rounds, while in the fifth he was deducted a point for biting his opponent near the shoulder.
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The bout for the vacant title ended in the seventh round when a perfect right-hand from Concepcion flattened his opponent, causing the referee to almost immediately halt the contest. There were some worrying signs as Clark lay prone on the canvas but after a few minutes he thankfully regained his senses.
Clark is now 5-54-4 while Leicester’s Concepcion improves to 19-10 while becoming the first man to hold the Midlands Area title at three different weights (light-middleweight, middleweight and super-middleweight).
In other contests, Lincoln’s Steve Swinburn won almost every round of his British Masters light-middleweight title contest against Scunthorpe’s Steve Spence, before the referee stopped the bout in the eighth. Swinburn looked to be on unsteady legs after catching a quick shot from Spence while the two were battling in the corner. It is the first loss of Swinburn’s nine-fight career as he drops to 6-1-2. In winning the vacant crown, Spence is 4-28-4.
Amir Unsworth, from Sleaford, survived the final four rounds of his British Masters light-welterweight contest unable to see in one eye due to vicious cuts sustained in head clashes.
Aiming to halt a run of three successive defeats, Unsworth gained a 96-95 points win over Birmingham’s Chris Truman to some surprise at ringside. He received 12 stitches to the cuts, following an all-action, high intensity clash for the vacant title which was the best contest of the night.
Newark’s Adam Kettleborough defeated Nuneaton journeyman Kristian Laight 40-36 on points in a 4x3 contest, while Paul Butlin, of Melton Mowbray, recorded the same verdict against Bangor’s Moses Matovu in a heavyweight bout.
Read interviews with Ryan Clark, Martin Concepcion, Steve Swinburn, Amir Unsworth, promoter Carl Greaves and BoxNation commentator John Rawling in Thursday’s Lincolnshire Echo.