Felix Cash impresses in Commonwealth title defence to maintain unbeaten record

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Gareth A Davies
·3 min read
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Felix Cash at the weigh-in - Mark Robinson
Felix Cash at the weigh-in - Mark Robinson

Felix Cash impressed with a fifth-round stoppage of former world title challenger Jason Welborn in a defence of his Commonwealth middleweight title as he recorded a ninth knockout victory in 13 bouts at “Matchroom Square Garden” in Brentwood, Essex.

Cash was superior in every department and, although deducted a point for low blows, once Welborn was down twice in the fifth round, the 34-year-old’s corner threw in the towel. Cash, trained by Tony Sims, remains undefeated and looks a fine prospect. Preceding the main event, Zelfa Barrett was behind on the cards, against previously undefeated Eric Donovan, before stopping his opponent with a brutal left hook in the eighth round in their super-featherweight contest.

Barrett moved to 24 victories with one defeat in his career, with promoter Eddie Hearn insisting afterwards that Barrett, on his Matchroom Boxing debut, has the kind of skill and excitement that “will sell out arenas in Manchester”.

It was the perfect precursor to Hearn’s final ‘Fight Camp’ episode which climaxes next week with the first pay-per-view event to be held behind closed doors when heavyweights Dillian Whyte and Alexander Povetkin contest the World Boxing Council ‘Diamond’ belt and Katie Taylor takes on Belgian policewoman Delfine Persoon again in a defence of the women’s undisputed lightweight titles. 

Taylor triumphed in their first meeting with a controversial points decision at Madison Square Garden, New York, in June last year.  The winner will likely face Cecilia Braekhus – record 36-0 – who defends the women’s undisputed welterweight title against Jessica McCaskill in Oklahoma tonight [Saturday] with the ring set up in a street in downtown Tulsa, also promoted by Hearn. Meanwhile, the winner of the heavyweight bout between Whyte and Povetkin decides the mandatory challenger for Tyson Fury’s WBC heavyweight belt.

On Friday night at the manor, though, produced drama throughout. Rachel Ball handed Shannon Courtenay her first professional defeat on points when referee Howard Foster scored the eight-round bout 77-75 to the social worker and former three-time world kickboxing champion from the West Midlands. It was a close affair and Ball, standing five inches tall than Courtenay, dropped her opponent in the first round with a counter left hook, but then looked to have fallen behind on the cards. Yet she came back with determination in the closing rounds, as her rival tired, to claim an emotional victory. Ball, 29, moved to six wins and one defeat.

Courtenay dropped to 5-1 with the loss. "I'm just so happy," said Ball. "It means everything to me. It was closer than I wanted it to be. I want Eddie Hearn to sign me up. I want to go on to big things, and want to be at world-title level."

Earlier, Northampton super-welterweight Kieron Conway scored a wide points victory - 99-92, 98-92 and 98-92 - over Nav Mansouri, almost stopping his rival in a seventh round assault, and supermiddleweight John Docherty extended his unbeaten record to nine victories with a seventh round stoppage of Anthony Fox.