Marsh drops a bombshell as he quits days before big fight
TRAINER Johnny Eames was shocked when British super-bantamweight champion Matthew Marsh told him: I am quitting boxing, just days before the fighter was due to defend his crown and earn his biggest-ever purse. After weeks of training at Canning Town s U
TRAINER Johnny Eames was shocked when British super-bantamweight champion Matthew Marsh told him: "I am quitting boxing," just days before the fighter was due to defend his crown and earn his biggest-ever purse.
After weeks of training at Canning Town's Ultrachem TKO Gym, Marsh (pictured right) was scheduled to face Liverpool southpaw Mark Moran at Leigh, Lancashire, on Friday night.
Then came the British champion's announcement which shocked the gym boss, with Marsh's decision to retire proving a real bombshell.
Marsh had been having problems making the 8st 10lb weight limit and relinquished his British title, then told Eames he was retiring.
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"I knew Matthew was finding it hard to get the weight off, but I was shocked when he told me it was over and he was quitting boxing," said the TKO Gym chief.
"Promoter Frank Maloney even offered to delay the fight until May, to give him more time to make the weight, but Matthew insisted he would not go through with the bout and did not want to box."
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The former West Ham amateur star had suffered just a single defeat in his 12 pro fights - he suffered a setback when he moved up to featherweight and lost against WBU champion Derry Matthews at York Hall in 2007.
He had since bounced back with three good wins, including a career-best performance in defeating former European champion Esham Pickering at York Hall last June.
The 26-year-old Marsh is certainly young enough to reconsider his verdict, but he will have to regain his appetite for the sport, and fight his way back to make a challenge for the British title he has tossed aside.
With the former ABA champion Marsh out of the picture, Moran will now meet experienced Nottingham opponent Jason Booth in a contest for the vacant British super-bantamweight at the Leigh Indoor Sports Centre on Friday night, which will be televised live by SkySports.