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Hat-trick hero Marsh retains title

PUBLISHED: 07:08 26 November 2008 | UPDATED: 13:49 05 October 2010

MATTHEW MARSH made it a hat-trick of wins over rival Rocky Dean to retain his British super-bantamweight title in an East End thriller at York Hall on Friday night

By LEN WHALEY

MATTHEW MARSH made it a hat-trick of wins over rival Rocky Dean to retain his British super-bantamweight title in an East End thriller at York Hall on Friday night.

In the third meeting between the pair, Marsh completed a win treble after coming through a real battle that had rival supporters roaring throughout the clash.

TKO gym fighter Marsh thought his superior skills had earned him a convincing win after 12 hard-fought rounds but Dean, his rival from the Peacock gym, produced a combative display to keep the scoring close.

One of the ringside judges scored the fight level at 114-114, but the others made it 116-112 and 116-113 in favour of defending champion Marsh, who later paid tribute to his opponent after admitting the fight had been "very tough".

He said: "I knew from day one it was going to be tough. I've trained so hard for this and it's paid off tonight. I've showed my boxing skills. Everyone knows I can fight now, everyone knows I can box."

Following a tight opening to the fight, Marsh took control in the later stages but developed a cut over his left eye in the ninth, with Dean also suffering an injury a round later.

But the champion regrouped over the remaining three rounds to secure a memorable triumph.

On the York Hall undercard, Vinnie Mitchell made it seven straight victories with a two-minute triumph over Riaz Durgahed - the quickest success of his pro career.

The 2l-year-old looked too strong for his Mauritius-born opponent, with a barrage of heavy hooks sending his rival to the floor in the opening minute.

Durgahed tried gamely to fight back, but walked into another solid left hook and a follow-up right sent him crashing to the canvas again.

Mitchell followed up with a third knockdown later in the round, prompting referee Ian John Lewis to signal the end of the one-sided contest after 2mins 46secs.

Light middleweight Grant Skehill was another winner for the Paul Cook stable, making it eight straight pro wins with a four-round points victory over Peterborough rival JJ Bird.

Bird, proved an awkward opponent but the former Stepney St George's boxing club amateur landed enough shots to take a 40-37 verdict.

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