Defeat to hit Napa right where it hurts!

PROMOTER Frank Maloney opened his 2010 programme with an exciting show at the Brentwood Centre on Friday night, but his top of the bill bantamweight Ian Napa suffered a split decision defeat that will hit him where it hurts – in his bank balance, writes L

PROMOTER Frank Maloney opened his 2010 programme with an exciting show at the Brentwood Centre on Friday night, but his top of the bill bantamweight Ian Napa suffered a split decision defeat that will hit him where it hurts - in his bank balance, writes LEN WHALEY.

Certainly, Barking's UKIP candidate, Maloney, hopes to be happier with his votes at the General Election compared to the ones his fighter received at Brentwood, where a controversial decision gave the British and Commonwealth titles to Doncaster challenger Jamie McDonnell.

Both boxers earned one judge's vote by a single point, but then third ringside official Dave Parris cast his vote in favour of the winner by a wide five-round margin.

Many at the ringside thought that seasoned campaigner Napa had done enough to win - but the verdict not only cost him the two titles, but a big Paris pay-day on March 6, when he was due to challenge Jerome Arnould for the European Championship.


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The 31-year-old could only shake his head and stressed: "This won't finish me - I will train harder and come back a better fighter. I thought I had done enough to win the fight - but that's judges for you."

The super-fit Yorkshireman showed bravery under fire to keep battling back against the skillful Napa, whose accurate punches saw the challenger damaged around both eyes.

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The taller McDonnell just kept throwing punches all the way until the final bell, and his non-stop attack swayed the points' verdict his way.

Angry Maloney described the split verdict as a 'Dick Turpin' decision, but at least he had the consolation of seeing his other fighters in winning form on the successful Brentwood show - including heavyweight duo Larry Olubamiwo and Tom Dallas.

Former Repton heavyweight Olubamiwo made it seven wins out of eight in his pro-campaign, as he flattened TKO Gym-trained Irishman Scott Belshaw inside a round.

The winner proudly pointed out: "I beat him in less time than either Audley Harrison and Tyson Fury could do it."

Big Larry showed his power once again as he clubbed his giant rival to the floor inside the first minute with a powerful onslaught.

Belshaw's attempts to fight back were ignored as more robust rights from Olubamiwo sent him crashing, until the referee signalled the end.

Dallas also blasted out Bulgarian rival Yavor Marinchev, who was on the receiving end of some power punches from the opening exchanges.

Dallas landed a powerful shot to the midrift at the end of the second that was enough to force his rival to quit on his stool before the start of the third round, for his ninth straight victory.

Featherweights Akaash Bhatia and Mickey Coveney produced a lively six-round clash, with Peacock Gym-based Coveney battling all the way, and was far from pleased with the wide points margin scored against him at the end.

Also in winning form on the night was TKO Gym's unbeaten bantamweight prospect Michael Maguire, who took a 59-56 verdict over Pavels Senkovs (Mansfield).

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