Salford’s Marc Leach is the new British super-bantamweight champion.
The York Hall witnessed a controlled and dominant win for the 27-year-old who never looked like losing the 20th fight of his career.
After a frustrating and emotional night in Glasgow for Jamie Moore and Nigel Travis recently their wounds will have been slightly healed by Jack Catterall’s stablemate taking a Lonsdale belt back to their gym.
Streatham’s Chris Bourke’s effort was commendable throughout, but his face paid a bloody price in the end, particularly his left eye bearing the brunt of Leach’s shots.
The back foot boxing and all-round elusiveness of Leach was too much of a problem for Bourke to solve. Tactics of continued aggression, following the Salford man around the ring and missing lots of shots played straight into Leach’s hands.
With fans inside the York Hall largely in favour of Bourke their chants of “Bourkey” and roars of support couldn’t lift their man to the levels of Leach’s performance.
Leach’s jab, counter boxing, one-twos and letting his hands go at the right moment was a pattern that the away fighter was comfortable with and never looked under pressure.
Bourke’s success came from a few big left hands, but his punches were of the single variety rather than combinations. It simply wasn’t enough.
With Bourke’s left eye continuing to swell Leach grew more and more confident. He beat his man to the punch 99% of the time and while Bourke was never in any danger of being knocked out, he was being peppered enough to keep him at bay and received more bumps and lumps for his endeavours.
In the final few rounds all Leach had to was stick to the gameplan drummed into him by his corner. Nigel Travis mentioned the word “discipline” to his charge and Leach never faltered or broke away from what had served him well throughout. Travis and Moore were visibly ecstatic when the unanimous decision (117-111, 116-113, 116-112) went their way as they wrapped around their arms the new British champion.
Nineteen years ago, Jamie Moore gave Salford a British champion when he defeated Michael Jones for the 154lbs title. The first chapter of their unforgettable trilogy. The city has never had a fighter win a Lonsdale belt since then. Marc Leach stepped up tonight and proved that his talent is real and his tag of ‘one of the best kept secrets’ has been ripped off and been replaced by British super-bantamweight champion.
Image: Queensberry Promotions