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Kyle Yousef is English champion, Josh Wale warms up for European title fight and Robbie Barrett claims IBF crown

Kyle Yousaf
Kyle Yousaf

Kyle Yousaf showcased some in-fight maturity to claim the English flyweight title in Barnsley.

The unbeaten Sheffield fighter recovered from a rocky start to see off the challenge of Conar Blackshaw, who retired at the end of the sixth round with a reported hand injury.

By that point Yousaf was dominating the bout, belatedly showing his slick skills to leave Blackshaw with a hopeless task.

Yousaf had arguably let his confidence get the better of him in the early rounds, looking to showboat against an opponent not at his level.

But he only succeeding in making the fight one which did not suit him, allowing Derby fighter Blackshaw to come within range and make a brawl of it.

With no doubt a good talking to from Steel City trainer Grant Smith, Yousaf began to settle fully in the fourth round, staying at range and showcasing an excellent variety of shots to take full control with excellent professionalism.

By the end of the sixth it was clear, barring something exceptional, that the English title was only heading in one direction, which likely played into Blackshaw’s decision to end the contest.

Yousaf moves to 14-0 and will quickly seek opportunities at British level.

Former British champion Robbie Barrett ensured joy for the home town support at the Metrodome on Friday night as he claimed the IBF European lightweight title with a competitive points win over Matty Fagan.

In what was a close fight throughout, an eighth round left hand knockdown for Barrett proved a decisive moment, helping to cap a strong finish to the contest for the Darfield fighter.

Both men landed regularly and it was not until the later rounds that Barrett truly showcased his boxing skill by claiming the advantage.

He claimed a unanimous points decision from the three cards – with two 96-93 and one a rather ridiculous 98-91 – and moved to 17-3-1 for his career.

The night was set to mark the homecoming of former British bantamweight champion Josh Wale in a major contest.

But with the Brampton Bierlow fighter set to travel to France in three weeks to contest the European title, his return home was a more low key affair.

Gallantly opting to fight in front of an adoring public despite the obvious risks, Wale faced game Nicaraguan Rafael Castillo in a six rounder designed to keep him ticking over.

Understandably not showing his trademark aggression, Wale demonstrated some skill at range to claim a comfortable points win and set himself up nicely for his clash with Georges Ory on October 26.

Andy Townend let the disappointment of the late cancellation of his South Yorkshire derby with Atif Shafiq show as he turned in a sluggish performance against Henry James.

Knock-out artist Townend had Janes down in the seventh round with a huge right hand but the Welshman recovered superbly and managed to see out the fight.

Cudworth’s Townend was rewarded with a 77-74 decision but will have to be much improved if and when his anticipated clash with Shafiq is rearranged.

Sheffield’s English super lightweight champion Sam O’maison returned to the ring for the first time since April with a comfortable points win over Michael Williams.

South Yorkshire’s first female pro boxer Terri Harper secured the first stoppage win of her promising career when she overwhelmed Bec Connolly in three rounds.

The 21-year-old unbeaten Doncaster fighter turned in the best performance of her career to date after a six month break from action.