sport

Rose wins belt for keeps

Brian Rose made a third successful defence on his British light-middleweight title against Sam Webb in Blackpool on Friday night.

It means Rose will have the coveted Lonsdale Belt for keeps and he was clearly emotional after the judges scores were read out in his favour.

Not that the local favourite had things all his own way against the former champion, who only just came up short in another thrilling domestic scrap.

Webb was busy but his work was nowhere near as effective as Rose early on, the champion landing the right hand on several occasions, twice forcing Webb to take to the ropes.

Rose wasn't as active in the second though and Webb was allowed to crowd him out, working well inside both upstairs and down.

The champ edged the next courtesy of several cleaner shots to the head, while the industrious Webb was taking too many shots as he looked to get inside the raking jab of Rose.

It was more of the same in the fourth, a stiff left jab aside it was Rose who made sure the challenger was coming off second best with a right upper cut and another chopping right particularly disconcerting.

Rose was throwing the more quality shots but the work-rate of Webb was commendable and he was the one taking the fight to his opponent, nicking the sixth with Rose unable to impose himself.

The eighth proved the highlight as both fighters traded leather, taking turns to unload combinations from close range in a session that was difficult to call a winner.

The pace slowed in the ninth as Rose stood off and for once Webb was more circumspect in coming forward, doing enough nevertheless to take the round.

It was somewhat surprising that Rose had been unable to assert his dominance behind the jab, but Webb's persistence was unrelenting and his leading left to the head and solid work to the body kept him in the fight.

Rose edged the penultimate stanza with the more eye-catching work but Webb finished strongly and took the last round by landing some of his best shots of the night, two straight right hands rocking the head of the champion.

But it came is little surprise when all three judges gave it to the reigning champion, two scoring it 116-112 with the other slightly closer with 116-113.