It was an unsatisfactory end to Navid Mansouri’s first English title defence in more ways than one.
The fight at Ponds Forge ended prematurely with Barnsley opponent Matthew ‘Buster’ Mallin cut on the eyelid in the first round. The cut was so bad that he had to be retired on his stool on the doctor’s advice to enforce a technical draw.
Salt was added to the wound when light-middleweight rival Dave Fidler, perhaps disrespectfully, opted to stick his nose in as both fighters exited the ring.
The Sheffield Boxing Centre fighter felt that he was more worthy of challenging Rotherham’s Mansouri - given that he had a points win over Mallin and he told promoter Dave Coldwell as much.
“Fidler needs to get in the queue. I’m not being funny but he did not beat Adam Jones and he would never have been passed to fight for the English title by the board,” insisted an annoyed Coldwell.
“We only got Buster because it was a nine day ruling. It (v Fidler) would be a good local fight at Central Area level but Mark Thompson (original opponent) is the level I’m looking for for Nav as we build him to challenge for British title.
“I offered Dave a fight with one of my Manchester lads and he did not want to know.”
Referee Steve Gray deemed the cut to have been from an accidental head clash but Mansouri maintained that the damage had been done by a left hook. Mallin was treated in hospital on the night and a rematch is the likely option.
There were six home wins on the undercard with Joe Rodgers battling through some of his own blood to stay unbeaten. The Parson Cross lightweight took some time to get over the first round cut, this time deemed to be from a punch, and seemed flustered for at least a round and a half.
Opponent Andy Harris, from Gloucester, won an eight-round title fight last time out and was game for a fight. Rodgers regained his composure though and moved onto 5-0.
Rotherham welterweight Chad Gaynor passed a test against Pole Krzysztof Szot in his first eight-rounder.
Szot was willing to fight on another Coldwell bill just two weeks after having his two front teeth knocked out and he reaffirmed his tough-guy image by standing up to an early onslaught from Gaynor, who took it 80-74.
Middleweight Rod Smith from Dronfield gave city fighter Dean Walker a bit of a beating up over four rounds.
Walker took the fight at short-notice and had to be brave as Smith set a gruelling pace coupled with a good array of shots to win 40-36.
Rotherham heavyweight Kash Ali fought Wakefield’s James Oliphant for a third time and prevailed 40-36.
Doncaster’s Maxi Hughes recovered from a failed attempt at the Central Area title with a win over Worcester’s Michael Mooney. Hughes shared just one of the six rounds in a 60-55 win.
Light-heavy Jamie Hughes, also of Doncaster, got by Scunthorpe’s Jody Meikle 40-36.