SAMUELS SECURES WELSH HISTORY

Newport’s Jerome Samuels (5-5, 1KO) followed in his father’s footsteps and won the Welsh light-middleweight championship with just one point separating him from Backwood’s Dai Jones (4-4-1). Paul Samuels won the same title in 1998 with a second round knockout of Craig Winter but his son was pushed to the wire by Jones with referee Clarke Joslyn scoring the ten round contest 97-96 in favour of Samuels. It was the first title fight on Steve Robinson’s first show and when the scorecard was announced, an exhausted Samuels ran out of the ring to his girlfriend who is expecting their first child. There was little to separate both boxers at the Newport Centre and many of the rounds played out the same pattern with extreme pressure from Jones and the more precise punching coming from Samuels. The early action was back and forth, those rounds were difficult to score as both styles were effective and enjoyed success. The first clear round was the sixth as Jones’ looping overhand punches landed on Samuels who had switched off and left his chin in the air. However, the 20-year-old came back and Samuels, who seemed to pace himself earlier on, was able to find enough space to land the cuter and cleaner punches which caught the referee’s eye. Both boxers were tired entering the last round but Samuels’ right hooks to Jones’ body earlier in the fight appeared to have done their job of slowing Jones down and it was Samuels who kept his shape he scored with several one-two combinations. Both were given warnings from the referee throughout the contest for various rules infringements. Jones was sometimes reckless with his head and Samuels was guilty of tying up too much but the bout was fought in sporting spirits, when it became messy it was often down to both boxers’ eagerness to apply themselves. The Gwent derby was a rematch of their six rounder in September and it was almost a carbon copy with Samuels winning both contests by a point. Tonight signals a remarkable turnaround for Samuels who, after losing his first five fights, has now won five in a row. However, Jones has now lost three consecutive contests.

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