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Thatcham boxer too powerful for rival in York Hall showdown

Malcolm Howe

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Malcolm Howe

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09-1913A Bryan Richardson

BRYAN Richardson piled on the power - and the pounds - to lift the UK Boxing Union’s Super Series London Light Middleweight belt with a TKO of Manchester’s James Drakes at Bethnal Green’s York Hall on Friday night.

The Thatcham taxi driver and trainer Dave Johnson timed his preparation to perfection after coming in at 67 kilos in Thursday night’s weigh-in, a kilo under his opponent, but by the time of the bout he had shot up to 76 kilos and he had too much power for former cagefighter Drakes.

“It’s what we planned,” said trainer Johnson, “Bryan puts on weight so quickly and we planned to fight at 73 kilos, but he went in at 76.

“He was ripped and in and big and in great shape and was just too powerful.”

Drakes was soon backing away after taking the first jab and after Richardson threw a right, Drakes was haring around the ring to stay out of trouble.

Eventually, Drakes threw a right of his own, but he promptly went down and Richardson was declared the winner.

“I don’t think there was anything wrong with him,” said Johnson, “he had just had enough.

“It’s not the way we wanted to do it, but we made no mistakes this time and it paid off. It’s about time Bryan had a little bit of luck.”

Richardson’s only disappointment was that he was unable to put on a proper show for the small army of supporters who followed him to east London.

“I was expecting him to come out and go at it with me,” he said, “but he just kept running and moving away.

“I caught him a couple of times and I don’t think he liked it,” he added, “and when he caught me on the side of the face with a punch, he went down like a professional footballer, rolling all over the place.

“It’s what I set out to do and won the belt, although it was not the way I wanted to win it with all the people up from Newbury and Thatcham supporting me.”

Richardson will consider his ring future after a break, although trainer thinks retirement could be an option: “He’s done what he always wanted to do and could go out as a champion,” he said.

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