Better than Naz? Kid is real deal after first title

Champion: Kid Galahad celebrates after his first title fight win over Jason Booth.        picture: STEVE PARKIN
Champion: Kid Galahad celebrates after his first title fight win over Jason Booth. picture: STEVE PARKIN
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FOR Kid Galahad it was his big chance, for Jason Booth it was his last one.

That all boded well for an entertaining fight at Rotherham’s Magna Centre and nobody went home disappointed. Youth prevailed with the Upperthorpe talent Galahad, real name Barry Awad, largely dominant in a unanimous points win.

From tentative to tenacious, Galahad stepped up the gears through the fight and had too much for the Nottingham veteran of 22 title bouts.

The WBC international super-bantamweight belt was last in the Wincobank gym in 1994 around the waist of Naseem Hamed before he dominated the world a division up at featherweight.

At first glance, you’d hazard a guess that they were related. Galahad is a Yemeni, dauntless, switch-hitter and although lacking in the one-punch-power of Naz, has won the title two fights earlier than him.

“I’ve won it (the title) in less fights than Naz and Manny Pacquiao,” he beamed afterwards. He didn’t have to say any more. To be mentioned in the same breath as those fighters clearly means as much to him as the title itself. The volume and accuracy of Galahad’s shots throughout the contest wore Booth, on the wane at 34, down. He jabbed relentlessly and came on the inside to land more telling blows regularly.

Booth, a former world title challenger still landed the odd reminder on Galahad that the title wasn’t his by rights. A looping left forced Galahad to touch down in the first. That wasn’t exactly in the script but the shot apparently caught him off balance and had no lasting impact on the fight.

Galahad had barely begun misbehaving as a kid when Booth first turned pro in 1996 and the former champion naturally taught him a few lessons during the contest.

“It was a good fight and I’ll have learned a lot from it. He knows every trick in the book and smiles after every cheeky thing he does,” said Galahad.

“I caught him a couple of times and I could’ve jumped in, but I knew not to because he’s a very clever fighter and that would’ve played into his hands. It’s my 11th fight and it was my own show. I boxed in front of millions on television and I enjoyed it. How many people can say that?”

Doncaster’s Jason Ball left it too late against Chris Eubank Junior. Early ground work meant that Eubank secured a 58-56 verdict.

There were routine victories for Rotherham’s Karl Bell and Doncaster’s Jason Cunningham, both by shutout. Ingle-trained Oxford featherweight Leo D’Erlanger recorded a debut draw against Ryan McNicol and Barnsley’s Lee Noble lost on points to Ulsterman Dee Walsh.