MACKLIN RECLAIMS EURO CROWN & GAVIN LANDS FIRST BELT

19 September 2010 by Ross Thompson-Jenkins

Matthew Macklin reclaimed the European middleweight title with a win over Shalva Jomardashvili in Birmingham on Saturday September 18.

The 28-year-old, of Irish descent, put in a dominant, yet frustrating, performance in front of a huge home crowd at the LG Arena to win back the belt he vacated earlier in the year. Macklin had been due to face Darren Barker in an all British showdown but Barker pulled out injured and the tough Georgian was drafted in at short notice. It was a huge disappointment for what should have been the main event of an action packed card.

Macklin could have been forgiven for appearing less than enthusiastic when faced with his new opponent but he dominated all five rounds before Jomardashvilis corner pulled their man out at the start of the sixth, his nose bleeding heavily from the sustained uppercuts Macklin landed all night. Dominating from the start with a series of big blows to the body Macklin never really looked in trouble but took some big shots as he cut a frustrated figure in the ring. He was dragged into much more of a brawl than he would have liked but his combination of body shots and uppercuts drew blood from Jomardashvilis nose in the second and the fight was stopped just nine minutes later.

Macklin will now turn his attention to a world title fight with promoter Frank Warren hoping a deal can be done for December 11 in London.

Frankie Gavin won his first title as a professional boxer by beating Michael Kelly for the Irish light-welterweight title.

Gavin is now the proud owner a belt that means a great deal to a man whose parents hail from the country.

Cheered on from ringside by fellow Olympian James De Gale, Gavin was made to work a little harder than his friend, but eventually stopped his opponent at the end of the fifth round. Funtime dominated from the first bell, landing powerful body shots, solid jabs and showing off his own defensive display. When a cut opened up under Kellys right eye in the third-round the fight looked certain to be over. The Dundalk man carried on for another two rounds before the referee brought the fight to an end with just one second left of the fifth-round.

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