Oakey eyes titles after Prizefighter success
Tony Oakey was crowned the new light-heavyweight Prizefighter champion after lifting the �25,000 prize at York Hall
Tony Oakey was crowned the new light-heavyweight Prizefighter champion after lifting a �25,000 first prize at York Hall on Friday night - and avoiding a ban from his East London gym.
Oakey claimed the title and received the trophy from Matchroom boss Barry Hearn after scoring a unanimous points decision over Oldham's Darren Stubbs in the final.
The 33-year-old's triumph earned the congratulations of his huge band of supporters at a packed York Hall and also drew praise from TKO Ultrachem gym boss Johnny Eames, who revealed: "I told Tony he must win - or he wouldn't be allowed back in the gym."
Now Oakey hopes that victory in the big-money tournament will put him back on the title trail.
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He said: "I've won British, Commonwealth and WBU titles, but this feels just the same.
"It was very difficult and I think I had the toughest draw, but I deserved to win. I'm very proud to have done so and it was a team effort that has paid off.
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"I was the most well-known name in the competition and everyone was trying to make a name for themselves off me, but I was confident in my ability so it was worth taking the gamble.
"It was looking like I was on my way out but winning this will open doors for me."
In the fifth Prizefighter competition, the all-in-one-night format again proved a winner with the watching fans and the viewers on Sky TV as a great atmosphere provided some thrilling contests at the Bethnal Green fight spot.
There was also controversy as a blunder by the British Boxing Board of Control saw Liverpool's Carl Dilks originally declared the winner in his semi-final against Stubbs.
Yet the judges had made a mistake with the scoring and Stubbs eventually progressed before he was outclassed by Oakey in the winner-takes-all final.
Stubbs had earlier claimed the only victory inside the distance when he floored TBS promotions fighter Steve Spartacus with less than 30 seconds left in the second round.
Oakey was involved in some fierce fights as he claimed a points decision after a gruelling quarter-final duel with Billy Boyle and then defeated ex-Repton amateur star Courtney Fry, who started as the favourite for the title.