A Rocky end as Dean is beaten

ROCKY DEAN S hopes of ending his title fight win drought, which goes back to March 2005, were exploded by classy Jason 2smooth Booth in their clash for the British super-bantamweight title at York Hall, Bethnal Green, last week. Since he won the Souther

ROCKY DEAN'S hopes of ending his title fight win drought, which goes back to March 2005, were exploded by classy Jason '2smooth' Booth in their clash for the British super-bantamweight title at York Hall, Bethnal Green, last week.

Since he won the Southern Area title against Mick Coveney that night in Dagenham's Goresbrook Centre, the popular Rocky has battled through six title contests - and all have been brave failures.

Half of those six bouts have been close enough for argument, but last week's defeat against a skilful champion was not one to dispute.

All three ringside judges had Booth a clear winner, with only a single round scored in favour of the 31-year-old fighter from Canning Town's Peacock gym, who was looking to highlight his 10-year pro campaign with the British title success.


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However, the Nottingham fighter was at his best at long distance and in the close-quarter exchanges, with his more versatile attacks just too much for the game challenger.

Dean soaked up the shots and never looked like hitting the canvas, and after the fight he received the cheers from the audience and praise from the champion.

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"Take it from me, that Rocky Dean is one game so and so, he'll give anyone a hard fight," said Booth, a seasoned campaigner making only his second appearance at the 'Home of Boxing,' in his 13-year pro career.

There was also a points defeat for a second fighter from the East London gym on the York Hall bill, previously unbeaten featherweight Akaash Bhatia.

Crowd-pleaser Bhatia finished a narrow points loser against Cwmbran's Jamie Arthur in their final eliminator for the British title.

After the 10-round tussle, referee Dave Parris scored the Welsh fighter a 96-95 points winner.

It was a tough bout, with both boxers bleeding from facial injuries, but battling every inch of the way, and Arthur started to hit back after taking solid shots.

The disappointed Bhatia was a narrow loser against a talented rival, who could be a real threat to British champ Martin Lindsay, but 'Kash the Bash' can bounce back from defeat.

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