No winners in the Battle of Wales
Gavin Gwynne (15-2-1, 3KO) clung onto his British lightweight title as he battled out a thrilling draw with fellow Welshman Craig Woodruff (12-6-1, 4KO) in Bolton on September 17, 2022.
Channel 5 broadcast a fantastic Welsh war between challenger Craig Woodruff against the aggressive pressure of the champion, Gavin Gwynne. But it turned into a classic battle with both believing they had done enough to win and each eager for a rematch.
Former Welsh Area champ Woodruff, 30 from Newport, was busy at the start, moving in and out of range, catching Gwynne as he came forward, winning the first few rounds, much to everyone's suprise in his first time at this level, but the question was always whether he could keep up the pace.
His hands-down style started to count against him in the fourth onwards, as Gwynne, 30 from Treharris, managed to close the gap and started to gain the upper hand in the middle rounds.
Both dug deep and the fight grew into a cracker, as they stood toe-to-toe hammering away at each other.
With so many close rounds, it looked like it came down to the last two. 'Smiler' caught Gwynne with a big right hand in the 11th, but the titleholder came back with a thudding left hook. But while Woodruff finished well, so did Gwynne who might have nicked the last.
Terry O’Connor scored it 116-113 for Gwynne, but Phil Edwards and John Latham both scored it 114-114. Kieran McCann was the referee.
“I thought I had just nicked it, but he finished strong in the last round. It was nip and tuck all the way through,” Gwynne said.
But Woodruff was convinced he should have won.
“I know I won that, but I’m not a judge,” he said.
“The only punches he hit me because I let him. I’m an idiot like that sometimes because I knew he couldn’t hurt me, but that probably cost me.”
Kane Gardner was given a serious test by the elusive Miguel Antin before claiming an eight-round decision at welterweight.
Antin had a good second round but after that tended to fight in bursts as he tired under Gardner’s constant pressure. Gardner looked best when he held his feet and picked straight shots, although the Argentinian had success when he opened up.
Referee John Latham scored it 78-75.
James Moorcroft made short work of Nigeria’s Olaide Fijabi, who was knocked down twice before being stopped in the second round of their welterweight clash.
A left hook to the body had Fijabi over in the first and then when Moorcroft landed a right uppercut in the second, Fijabi turned away and took a knee as he seemed to be hurt around the eye. He beat the count but showed no interest in continuing and referee Darren Sarginson stopped it at 1:59. Moorcroft’s record goes to 17-2.
Bolton flyweight Samir Aftab moved to 2-0 with a straight-forward points win over Mikey Young, claiming a 40-36 decision after four rounds.