Kieran Gething retains Welsh title with close decision win over Craig Woodruff

Kieran Gething retains Welsh title with close decision win over Craig Woodruff

Pontypool’s Kieran Gething (9-2-1, 2KO) retained his Welsh title with a decision victory against Newport’s inspired Craig Woodruff (7-5, 2KO).

The super-lightweights met on MTK Global’s title triple header at the Vale Sports Arena in Cardiff Bay and provided hundreds of fans with a steady stream of action, which was judged in the champion’s favour by a 97-95 scorecard.

Despite having recently moved up a weight, Woodruff’s bigger frame was put to use in the opener. His lengthy leavers landed counters when Gething overreached, mainly clipping left hooks, and he showed no signs of being overpowered. Gething became more blatant in the second stanza, wrestling with Woodruff up close which drew warning for both operators from referee Martin Williams.

Woodruff measured crisp right hands in the third round, the session’s most eye-catching incidents. Although they weren’t hurting Gething, they disrupted his rhythm as he attempted to hustle his way back into the fight. A reverse one-two had the same effect in the fourth but Gething appeared angered by the mistake and charged forward until the bell, upping the work rate in an attempt to turn the tide.

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Rounds five, six and seven followed a very similar pattern. Woodruff still scored with straight shots, whilst Gething surged and managed to maul with increasing effectiveness. It resulted in a lot of hitting and holding from both parties but in-between the clinches were moments to encourage each of them. Gething had the more consistent output and burrowed away when they were close, whereas Woodruff produced his best work from distance.

Heading into the latter rounds, Gething had reduced the deficit but by how much was a matter of opinion. They fought tooth and nail in the ninth and 10th rounds, providing reason for both to raise their arms at the final bell. This scorecard favoured the challenger by a 97-94 margin, though there were several rounds close enough for debate.

IMAGES BY MTK GLOBAL.

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