NEIL BEEVERS couldn’t add the Central Area title to his collection, after he found the step up in class too much against Chris Johnson in Leigh.
It all started so well for the Wombwell welterweight, 27, who won the British Masters title last month against Sean McKervey. As ever, he marched forward with intent from the first bell, but Johnson soon turned the fight in his favour to retain his title with a fourth round stoppage victory.
Beevers genuinely rocked his Chorley opponent with overhand rights and only covering up from the more experienced Johnson kept him in it during the opening round.
Using his superior boxing skills, Johnson picked his shots wisely and frequently took a step backwards to unleash upper-cuts that snapped Beever’s head backwards.
A dazzling combination saw Beevers touch down in the third round and the fight only looked like going one way from then on.
Despite the difference in class, Beevers, to his credit, kept relentlessly coming forward and Johnson had to give it his all to stop him following another combination that knocked Beevers onto the ropes.
Referee Phil Edwards had seen enough and stepped in to end the contest.
This is Beevers’ first defeat as a pro and his first in seven years, but he told The Star: “I can come back better from this. In a way it could make me a stronger fighter. Obviously I’d have liked to have become better in a way that wasn’t losing, but that’s how it goes sometimes.
“I want to get back in the gym as soon as possible and work on all the things that cost me this time around.”
Trainer Mick Wale said: “I think the stoppage might have been a bit early but I wouldn’t have let him take much more punishment.