BOXER Ryan Hardy has congratulated Sheffield football fans who backed both him and his opponent Dale Hutchinson - but claimed his rival didn’t share the same sense of sportsmanship.
Hardy - a Sheffield Wednesday fan outpointed Sheffield United fan Hutchinson at the Don Valley “derby” last weekend.
“There were the odd football chants going on but it was all really good natured” said Hardy. “Both sets of fans got together afterwards and had a laugh and I am all for that type of sportsmanship, it is fantastic.
“But Dale wasn’t in the mood for any of that. He refused to touch gloves at the end and wasn’t too conversant when I went to speak to him. Maybe he is a sore loser.
“But his corner were fine, they congratulated me on the win.”
Hardy, from Ecclesfield, felt he won every round barring the first of the six-rounder, although ref John Latham declared a win of 58-56.
“I was too casual to begin with, maybe I underestimated Dale” said Hardy.
“But I connected with a few good body shots and he was gasping for air. I have a feeling he was looking for a way out of the fight, but he stayed in there until the end.”
Hardy said he also witnessed a spectacle he’d never seen before in the boxing ring.
“I was watching (Dronfield’s) Lewis Taylor and suddenly his opponent (Durham’s Greg O’Neill) picked him up by the legs and put him on his shoulder. It was like watching WWF!”
It didn’t do middleweight O’Neill any good; Taylor stopped him in the sixth round of the scheduled eight rounder.
Hardy says his manager Carl Greaves is likely to pitch him back into battle, at Barnsley Metrodome, on Good Friday, March 29.
n Former Sheffield United footballer Curtis Woodhouse makes his first defence of his English light welterweight title on Friday, in a Dave Coldwell promotion.
He faces 13-match undefeated Lancastrian Shayne Singleton at Bowler’s Arena, Manchester. Singleton is nine years his junior.
On the same night, Glyn Rhodes fronts a show at Doncaster Racecourse, in which home town boys Daniel Slaney and James Tucker battle it out at light heavyweight.