End of the Lyne

A year that started with so much promise for Colin Lynes has ended in painful defeat

By LEN WHALEY

A YEAR that had started with so much promise for Colin Lynes ended in painful defeat on Friday night.

The Whitechapel-born fighter saw his bid to regain the British light

welterweight title ended by unbeaten Ulsterman Paul McCloskey following a ninth-round retirement at the Goresbrook Leisure Centre.


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Lynes, a member of trainer Paul Cook's stable of fighters, had suffered a setback in his previous outing when he travelled to Turin and lost his European title on a controversial decision against Italian hero Gianluca Branco.

Back at the venue where he started the year with a successful defence of his EBU title, the 31-year-old was beaten by classy southpaw McCloskey, who had been booked for a supporting bout but was promoted to Friday's main event when Manchester's David Barnes was injured in training.

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Lynes, who had prepared all along for a southpaw rival, appeared to have the measure of stand-in McCloskey during the early rounds.

In a confident start, he rocked his Londonderry rival with a powerful left hook that had the local crowd roaring their support as McCloskey staggered rubber-legged around the ring.

But the Irishman showed his fighting heart and began to flash his impressive southpaw skills as he recovered and started to trouble Lynes with slashing shots from all angles.

The attacks were unorthodox but they proved effective as McCloskey moved swiftly around the ring with hands held low before unleashing a flurry of shots that caused the former European champion real problems.

The upright, orthodox Lynes tried hard to take control in the middle rounds but could not repeat his earlier success as he was shaken with whipping uppercuts to head and body that clearly sapped his strength.

Lynes continued to fire two and three-punch combinations in an effort to regain his early superiority but the elusive McCloskey continued with his rapid-fire replies.

In a tough ninth round, Lynes slumped to the floor and despite surviving until the end of the round, the retirement duly came from his corner.

The ecstatic new title-holder McCloskey paid tribute to Lynes as a "worthy champion" after the fight before heading off to celebrate his 18th straight victory with his enthusiastic Ulster supporters.

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