Nick Blackwell (18-3-1, 8 KO’s) handed prospect Damon Jones his first defeat in 14 fights at the Derby Arena last night in the first defense of his British middleweight title.
The southpaw Jones was doing a handy job of out-boxing the pursuing champion over the initial stages of the contest, having consistent success with a dextrous back hand that found the target on both Blackwell’s head and body.
Blackwell applied constant pressure with his feet however and landed some murderous left hooks to the body whenever he managed to trap Jones on the ropes.
He was able to do this more regular as the minutes wore on until the third round, when he unleashed a brutal right hook that flattened the challenger, who unsteadily rose to his feet, but was clearly in no fit state to carry on.
Sky Sports reported Blackwell’s jubilation after the fight and he was very pleased his preparations beforehand served him well in this encounter.
”I’m buzzed up,” Blackwell said. “I’ve been working on that right hand counter in the gym and it came off.”
“I knew he was trying to out-box me because of his amateur background, but there was no power there so I knew he would tire if I put the pressure on him.”
Jones is a former ABA champion whose skills were never in doubt, but the same cannot be said for his stamina, which was untested having never been past the sixth round in his life.
The 22-year-old was always going to be in for a tough night against a durable, well-conditioned athlete like Blackwell who looks to have gained a new measure of confidence since winning the Lonsdale belt with new trainer Gary Lockett.