Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

McKenzie halts Corbett in semis

Darren Corbett

Darren Corbett's bid to claim the Sky Prizefighter cruiserweights event ended when he was stopped in the second round by Ovill McKenzie at Earls Court last night.

Corbett had made a fine start when in the quarter-finals he outpointed Mickey Steeds 29-26, 30-27, 30-27 and the odds on him winning the £25,000 jackpot immediately shortened.

The 36-year-old Belfast man, who had floored Steeds in the first round, took the opening session against eventual champion McKenzie with his workrate as his opponent seemed wary of his power.

McKenzie was becoming increasingly negative as former Commonwealth champion Corbett walked him down but then suddenly exploded a right hand and left hook off the Belfast man's chin and he stumbled to the ground, taking a further shot as he slumped against the ropes.

Corbett got to his feet and attempted to fire back with his own hooks but another right had him in trouble and as McKenzie started to unload referee Richie Davies called a halt.

Raging Bull Corbett immediately protested and shook his head in dismay as the official announcement of McKenzie's victory was read out but it seemed like the right decision.

Corbett was surprisingly sharp for someone who has had so little action in recent years but he is clearly better suited to light-heavyweight.

McKenzie went on to outpoint John Keeton in the final. Keeton caused an upset when he stopped Dean Francis in the first round of their semi-final.

Meanwhile, Olympic bronze medallist Darren Sutherland of Dublin will bid to prove that he's a step ahead of James DeGale when he returns to the ring on May 29.

Comparisons will automatically be made at the Fenton Manor Sports Complex in Stoke as Sutherland has been matched with Georgian Vepkhia Tchilaia, who went the distance with Olympic champion DeGale on his debut in February.

Promoter Maloney said: "DeGale's camp claimed he was taken the distance by Tchilaia because of his awkwardness. There isn't much they can say if Darren walks right through him like he did his first two professional rivals.

"I just hope DeGale keeps winning because two years down the line we will have a big, big fight against Sutherland in an arena or football stadium,

"Darren's trainer, Brian Lawrence believes he will be so far ahead of DeGale by then that the fight will not happen.”

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