Rotherham’s Nav in a big win over Barnsley rival in Sheffield

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One person wasn’t getting carried away after Nav Mansouri’s five-round technically “perfect” obliteration of title rival Matthew Mallin.

That was Mansouri himself.

07.02.2014. Sheffield, England.  Nav Mansouri and Matthew Mallin in action during their English Light Middleweight title rematch at the Pride of Yorkshire Promotion from the Ice Sheffield Arena Sheffield.

07.02.2014. Sheffield, England. Nav Mansouri and Matthew Mallin in action during their English Light Middleweight title rematch at the Pride of Yorkshire Promotion from the Ice Sheffield Arena Sheffield.

Ringside, everybody else was expressing admiration for the way the Rotherham light-middleweight had defended his English title with something approaching ease.

His sharpness, intelligence, movement and clinical counter-punching exposed every chink of weakness in the broad-chested and big-hearted Barnsley battler.

When Stairfoot’s Mallin had attacked, he found himself chasing a shadow who caught him in return to head and body. When he defended, Mallin wasn’t quick enough to avoid such an accurate barrage of blows.

While Mallin looked the more athletic, Mansouri was the smarter - and brains told over brawn.

The fight at iceSheffield was only two rounds old when Mallin’s sparkly white shorts were starting to show flecks of blood dropping down from his nose. His feet were wobbling and in the next round he had to take a count of seven after getting caught.

Mallin caught Mansouri a couple of times in an absorbing fourth round and the Kimberworth stylist dug deep to demonstrate he can fight as well as box.

In the fifth, Mansouri connected with a right and then left hook to the head, before a disorientated Mallin slid down the ropes and ref Steve Gray stepped in.

After the successful defence, Mansouri wasn’t going to get carried away.

Asked whether a British title tilt was now on the cards, he replied: “I don’t know. I am just going to keep doing what I am doing, progressing, and training and performing to my best. Whoever they put in front of me I’ll do my best.”

The 24-year-old said he felt could have ended the fight earlier, but observed the restraining directions coming from his trainer ,Oliver Harrison.

“I thought it was the perfect performance I felt really confident, sharp, I didn’t get tired” he said.

“I don’t know if I got punched or not, to be honest, I never really feel it until the day after.

“Mallin is a good kid. He is strong but nothing he did bothered me.”

The chief support match was a contest originally engineered by Lee Noble, who had pestered International Masters light-middleweight title-holder Dave Fidler via Twitter for a punch-up.

Now we know why.

Barnsley’s Noble was the more assertive to begin with, knocking the Shiregreen man to the canvas in the second round.

Fidler responded by trying to move inside his man with southpaw jabs, but he occasionally paid the price with Noble catching him with short, powerful shots.

Noble had a smile on his face, yet as the fight went on Fidler became stronger, pinning his opponent to the ropes a couple of times.

But it was not to be for the Sheffielder, or his debutant trainer, one Ryan Rhodes.

Afterwards, 35-year-old Fidler said he thought he had broken his right hand in round two.

He said: “I am feeling proud to be honest - but Lee was massive.”

There was almost a shock for stocky Dronfield middleweight Rod Smith.

Two months after his victory over Liam Cameron, Smith was nowhere near as assertive against Max Maxwell. A left to the temple saw Smith down on the canvas in this, his sixth professional fight.

The Spire Gym fighter responded but did not pressure Maxwell in the way he is capable of, but he still deserved the 59-55 win verdict. The match can be viewed as part of the 22-year-old’s learning curve.

On the rest of the compelling Dave Coldwell bill, Bentley’s aggressive light-heavyweight, Jamie Hughes, was a clear points victor over Ingle fighter Lee Duncan in a fight stopped when Hughes sustained a cut from a fifth-round head clash.

Super-featherweight southpaw Maxi Hughes, aged 23, of Rossington, was too busy and precise for Hungarian Imre Nagy.

Lightweight Atif Shafiq, of Rotherham,moved to nine wins after defeating Pavels Senkovs of Mansfield.

There were wins too for Derbyshire’s Ryan Fields and Amir Khan’s brother, super-flyweight Haroon.

Meanwhile, Ingle boxer Kid Galahad will challenge Sergio Prado for the vacant European super bantamweight title at Ponds Forge, Sheffield, on March 22.

The undefeated fighter, said: “It doesn’t matter who it (the rival) is. The European title is just another stepping stone.

“It’s a good title to have but it’s just another step. Naseem Hamed had that same title, Carl Frampton had it, Rendall Munroe had it - all quality fighters have held that belt.

“I want to clean up domestically, get the European and then get myself on to the world level - by the time I get there, in two or three fights, I’ll be 100 percent ready.”

Prado is a 31-year-old former Spanish champion and the current EBU-EU title holder.

“I’ve seen one or two clips of Prado and he looks like a decent kid.

“He can come forward, he’s strong, he can box and he’s there to win,” Galahad said.

“You can’t take anybody lightly, you’ve got to train like it’s your last fight. That’s how champions are made.

“The day you under-estimate any fighter is the day you’ll get beat and March 22nd is going to be no different.

“I’m in good shape, I’ve been ticking over since my last fight and I feel fantastic - I can’t wait.”