Dai Davies v Robbie Turley 2 – Round of the Year

Dai Davies v Robbie Turley 2 – Round of the Year

BoxingWales Annual Awards 2014 Dai Davies vs Robbie Turley, Round Seven – Round of the Year Not enough all-Welsh fights are ever made but the ones that are, often deliver, especially when there’s a Welsh title on the line. Dai ‘Dutters’ Davies (12-23-2, 2KO) was in his third reign as champion while old-foe Robbie Turley (14-5, 3KO) was in the third fight of a comeback after medical queries had kept him out for two years. Both boxers fought like they had a point to prove and it was never more evident than in the seventh round. Turley was out for revenge, having been stopped by Davies five years earlier, whereas the champion felt disrespected by notions that the win was a one-off that couldn’t be repeated. An unforgettable all-action round came after six previously punishing rounds where there was no shortage of power punching from the pair. Turley was his typical self, utilizing a jack-in-the-box style that saw him duck away from shots and rise with awkward uppercuts and hooks. However, Davies was wise to his opponents’ angles, jabbing to the chest and catching the challenger mid-lunge while his chin high was in the air as he exited exchanges. Hundreds of home fans roared ‘Dutters’ on and he soared, trapping Turley on the ropes after a minute of the seventh round and they proceeded to tear lumps out of each other. Davies enjoyed an edge in the earlier rounds and appeared the fresher, allowing him to be on the front foot, with Turley’s back pushed against the ropes. By now, it wouldn’t have mattered if it was fought in a phone box, they still would have had all the space they needed. The atmosphere was at boiling point with both sets of supporters banging the seats to increase the racket, sending decibels bouncing off the ceiling and back down to ringside. Such was the set up by Sanigar Events, the show’s promoters, that it almost felt as if the fans were in both boxers’ corners, bellowing encouragement from just feet away. Although Turley only lives 30 minutes away from the Rhydycar Leisure Centre in Merthyr Tydfil, his fans were on an away day and desperate to be heard amongst the chaotic carnival in the stands. They were vastly outnumbered, though. It was almost inconceivable that hometown hero Davies, by this point 31-years-old, had spent the last seven years on the road as the opponent in the away corner, booked by promoters to turn up, test the home-boy and lose. Aside from sways to the side to gain leverage to throw punches, both boxers stood in front of each other for what must have felt like an eternity, probably about two minutes in reality. However, even when swaying, their feet remained planted. As they were on the other side of the ring to the press, it was difficult to identify every punch that landed but they were undoubtedly going in, evident by the sprays of sweat sent flying to the canvas and thuds of leather to skin collisions. The only break in the action would come as Turley’s head popped up for air, gasping for milli-seconds before the punching would recommence. With legs like lead, both boxers pushed against each other to create space but it was more difficulty for Turley to get forward momentum, pinned against the ropes. An inspired Davies refused to give up his positional advantage to take a break but it eventually came at the bell and a relieved Turley trotted back to his corner. After another round, the banners in the crowd were abandoned amidst the crazed celebrations as Tony Borg and Chris Sanigar retired Turley in his corner. Davies ran to his home corner and jumped on the top ropes, saluting those who sang the “There’s only one” anthem that’s seemingly mandatory for any British boxer with a fan base large enough for a stagecoach. Davies raised his opponents’ hand in the air to encourage fans to applaud Turley’s gallant efforts. It was a fitting conclusion to a memorable fight, especially that staggering seventh round. Previous winners: 2012, Tony Pace v Lance Sheehan.

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