Esham eases to win ahead of title fight

SHEFFIELD Super bantamweight Esham Pickering coolly out-boxed Castleford southpaw Noel Wilders at the Town and Country Club, Bradford.

It was a valuable work-out for Pickering who faces a European (EBU) Title defence against Miguel Mallon in Madrid on June 3.

Pickering, 28, dominated until easing off in the final rounds, winning 78-75. Wilders finished with marks around his right eye.

Sheffield-trained welterweight Junior Witter was at the show to receive the Lonsdale belt for keeps.

Usually British champions are asked to defend their title three times before retaining outright, but the British Boxing Board of Control makes exceptions when suitable challengers cannot be found.

Witter, the first boxer since Charlie Magri to land the Lonsdale this way, said: "It has always been one of my ambitions to win the British Title outright. It has obviously been frustrating not to be able to defend it in the normal fashion."

Meanwhile, Glyn Rhodes was also a happy man yesterday.

Not only was his promotion at the Grosvenor House Hotel a sell-out but all his Sheffield Boxing Centre fighters won.

Most impressive was Norfolk Park's lightweight John 'Fireball' Fewkes, who moved to 5-0 with a points victory over Wiltshire's Chris Long.

Well-supported Fewkes won all eight rounds on Doncaster referee Howard Foster's scorecard, running away with an 80-72 victory.

Fewkes, 19, revealed he had been inspired by a recent meeting with heavyweight legend Joe Frazier.

Fewkes said: "What he said to me stayed with me. He said if you have done everything you can, there's nothing to worry about. And I have – I was really up for it and knew it was going to go well."

Two Sheffield teenagers made winning debuts.

Arbourthorne's Dwayne Hill outpointed Welshman Christopher Anthony over six rounds at lightweight.

The 18-year-old showed good variety in his boxing and ran out 59-55 winner.

Nineteen-year-old Mosborough fitness fanatic Lee Edwards coped well with awkward Estonian Sergei Haritonov.

The light-middleweight was another clear points winner by 59-56 on the referee's scorecard.