Rocky Ryan comes back to beat Hibbert with Jenkins potential opponent

Rocky Ryan comes back to beat Hibbert with Jenkins potential opponent

Dave ‘Rocky’ Ryan (17-8, 4KO) overcame John Wayne Hibbert (15-3, 9KO) in a classic to potentially set up a meeting with Garnant’s Chris ‘Rock n Rolla’ Jenkins (16-0, 8KO) in the Autumn at London’s O2 Arena. With no boxer established as the leading figure of the domestic 140lbs division, it remains wide open and has the potential to produce several more Fight of the Year candidates and that will surely include Jenkins, managed by Swansea’s Paul Boyce. Ryan enjoyed the better of the early exchanges as he flicked his jab to push Hibbert to the edges of the ring, before working away at is body. However, it almost backfired in round three when he was turned and walked on to a short right hook that dropped him to the canvas. The 32-year-old from Derby took the full eight count and recovered his senses to survive the round. Essex’s 30-year-old Hibbert applied more pressure and slowed Ryan’s approach with solid straight punches. It paid off again in the fifth round when he backed Ryan in to the corner and forced him to visit the canvas again. Ryan got up again and recovered again, matching Hibbert’s output in the next round and staying in the fight at the halfway mark. As the final phase of the fight, both of Hibbert’s eyes were swollen and the physical effect was taking a visible toll on both boxers. Ryan re-established momentum in the ninth round and found the breakthrough with two knockdowns, eventually forcing referee Victor Loughlin to call it off, completing a remarkably brave turnaround. The Commonwealth title was on the line and Jenkins’ old WBC International belt, which he won with a shut-out points victory over France’s Christopher Sibire in February 2014 before vacating it to concentrate on domestic success. Jenkins is scheduled to finally meet Tyrone Nurse (31-2, 6KO) at the Manchester Arena on 18 July with the British light-welterweight title on the line after it was vacated by Willie Limmond last month. The pair were set to face each other at the Leeds Arena in April but Jenkins collapsed three days before the contest at a British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoC) check weigh-in and was admitted to hospital where it was diagnosed as a virus. Image by Matchroom Sport.

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