Sean McComb has lost out in his bid to become Commonwealth champion in Bolton.
Having had the fight twice postponed, the Belfast lightweight finally got the chance to face Gavin Gwynne but was outworked and dropped out in the seventh round of what was a major upset.
Headlining a YouTube-streamed #MTKFightNight bill, McComb showed some bright sparks at the Bolton Whites Hotel but could not deter his relentless Welsh opponent and eventually had nothing left to respond with.
It was a first title fight for McComb who had put together a solid run over the past two years with wins over the likes of Siar Ozgul, Renald Garrido, Miroslav Serban, Troy James, and Argentine pair Mauro Godoy and Emiliano Rodriguez.
Gwynne was last seen putting a game showing against James Tennyson before being stopped in the sixth at Matchroom Fight Camp last August. That was the Merthyr Tydfil fighter’s second shot at the British title following a competitive loss to Joe Cordina in 2019.
McComb, who had young Dominic Vaughan in the corner tonight, is perhaps more comparable to the Welsh Olympian than his explosive countryman but he was not able to keep Gwynne away and eventually turned his back in the seventh after emptying his tank.
Gwynne charged in from the start but McComb quickly responded with a neat combination and some tidy head and foot movement. The pressure from the rough Welshman was relentless but sharp long shots from McComb, who was cut above the right eye early, will have edged the opener for him.
The clean scoring shots were coming through with regularity from McComb but the experienced Gwynne was being effective inside and worsening the cut. A little uppercut to the body then hurt McComb, now also bleeding from the nose, who was being made to work extremely hard to keep his head above water.
Emboldened, Gwynne continued to push in the third and McComb responded at close quarters but it was the Valleys man that was on top.
Going back to his boxing, McComb had an easier time of it in the fourth, the Turf Lodge southpaw landing well from range but Gwynne was not slowing.
The former Welsh champion was able to drag McComb back inside in the fifth stanza and his shots were starting to land cleaner. There were still some retaliatory responses from McComb who grew into the round after seeing Gwynne start to bleed rather profusely from the back of his head following an errant elbow.
It was fast and furious in the sixth but McComb’s quality was, largely, seeing him get the better of things early on. Three minutes are a long time, however, and Gwynne managed to force McComb down in the corner in the closing moments of the round as he wrestled his way back on top but no count was given.
Making lightweight for the first time as a professional, there were the natural questions regarding McComb’s staying power but, whether it was related to boiling down to 135lbs or not, ‘The Public Nuisance’ looked tired as we entered the second half of the contest. The shots from the Irishman were still clean but the activity and scoring was coming from an inspired Gwynne. McComb then unleashed with a salvo of bodyshots but it would be a last hurrah and the Belfast boxer would then turn his back and the fight was waved off.
The upset defeat sees McComb drop to 11(5)-1(1) while Gwynne takes the belt and improves to 13(3)-2(1)
Where McComb goes next is unsure. 29 later this year, any rebuild will need to be hasty for the former top amateur.
Gwynne now will perhaps turn his attention to a third shot at the British title and the winner of the clash between Belfast’s Paul Hyland Jr and Yorkshire-Welshman Maxi Hughes.