Pair get set to call it quits after title fight

THE two hulks who battled it out for Britain's cruiserweight championship title may have both boxed their last.

Wednesday, 3rd October 2007, 7:42 am
Updated Wednesday, 3rd October 2007, 2:34 pm

Stradbroke's John 'Buster' Keeton was stopped in the fourth round on Clinton Woods' undercard at Sheffield Arena last Saturday, and had to hand over his belt to opponent Mark Hobson.

It prompted 35-year-old Keeton to immediately consider quitting the sport.

And it is the same for 6ft 5ins Hobson, the 31-year-old former WBO champion who lives in Huddersfield but has family in Wath.

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Keeton said: "In the fight, Mark hit me on the back of the head and my legs just went, although I still don't think the ref should have stopped it.

"Now I am pondering retirement and will sit down with the Ingles to talk it over.

"My inspiration has been the British title, and holding on to it, and of course I'd like it back, but I have a family and a six-day-a-week job to hold down."

Keeton says Hobson told him after the show that he was also hanging up the gloves.

"After losing in the first round to Enzo Maccarinelli last year, Mark felt he had something to prove to himself. He did that and said he had a business to run and wanted to get on with that now."

That, ironically, would open the door for Keeton to attempt to reclaim the belt, as long as he stays in the sport.

He said: "A good boxer will always beat a brawler, and that was Mark and me.

"But if somebody came along that I thought I could beat, then it would be tempting.

"I have enjoyed working with (promoter) Dennis Hobson and the Ingles but I have had a long career (42 fights; 26 wins) and there are a lot of other things to consider."

Keeton said that while he disagreed with the referee in Saturday's contest he accepted the official "had my safety in mind".