Defending British junior middleweight champion Sam Webb started well today in Kent, but in the end couldn't survive a power punching attack from young challenger Prince Arron.
Arron stopped Webb in the 12th round of a gutsy, action-filled fight on Sky Sports, claiming his first title as a professional and continuing his development into a force to be reckoned with on the domestic level in the UK. Referee Victor Loughlin finally had no choice but to step in at 1:47 of the final round as Arron unloaded on Webb in the corner.
It was the fifth round that saw the turning point of the fight. Webb (17-2, 5 KO) had been in rather firm control to that point, using his terrific head movement and finely-tuned skills from his amateur days to make the 6'3" Arron look sloppy and slow offensively. But a big right hand from Arron (21-3-1, 4 KO) put Webb on the canvas in a bad way. When the defending champ got up, his legs were clearly gone and he spent the rest of the round desperately trying to ward off a heavy blitz from the challenger, who wouldn't let Webb breathe until finally, Arron slowed down in order to not punch himself out trying to close the show.
Webb spent the remainder of the fight on wobbly legs for the most part, and though he had moments and the scorecards must have still been close by the end, Arron took over in a big way. By the last three rounds, it seemed like Arron was landing his long right hand at will and hurting Webb every time. Webb was lucky to not have a knockdown called against him in the ninth round, but by the championship rounds it was clear he was hanging on by a thread, and Arron pushed to get him out. Ultimately, he succeeded, and became British junior middleweight champion with his third straight stoppage win at age 23.
In the co-feature, Frank Maloney's heavyweight prospect Tom Dallas improved to 15-0 (11 KO) with a questionable decision win over American spoiler Zack Page (21-35-2, 7 KO). Page is a lot trickier than his record would indicate, and is well-known for being so. I had Page comfortably winning the fight (78-74), and Sky's Jim Watt scored it 77-75 for Page. But referee Ian John-Lewis, who seems to keep coming up in these conversations, scored it 77-75 for Dallas, who didn't look too enthused when he had his hand raised -- almost surprised. Page, fighting a hometown heavyweight prospect, received applause from the audience when he raised his arms in woulda-been celebration after the eight round fight. Dallas, 26, is no David Price or Tyson Fury for UK heavyweight prospects, and expectations should be seriously tempered for him.