Scott Quigg is hailed as the new Hitman after victory
New British champion Scott Quigg’s sensational win over Jason Booth has even got Ricky Hatton hailing him the new Hitman.
The 23-year-old from Bury produced a master class on Saturday night to collect the super-bantamweight title and in all likelihood end Booth’s proud career.
A ferocious display of body punching brought to mind some of Hatton’s glory nights. And the former two-weight world champion, who is also Quigg’s promoter, is convinced he can become a global star too.
“He’s brilliant - a total all-rounder,” said Hatton. “My opinion of him hasn’t changed. I think he’ll be a world champion one day.
“Critics will say Jason has seen better days, but people like that, who’ve been at world level know how to look after themselves. In the end Jason looked like a rabbit called in the headlights.
“Scott’s a nice kid, a local kid who is close to his family. He’s a little bit like me - he’s down to earth is dedicated.
“He's a big ticket seller, he’s got the right attitude and with all that you’d like to think he can go a long way.”
Booth retired at the end of the seventh round after coming under increasing punishment.
Embracing Quigg before going back to his corner, the former world title challenger appeared to usher in a new generation.
“He’s not just a domestic level fighter, he is a top level fighter," said Quigg. “At the end of the seventh round he put his arm from me and said ‘thank you’.
“What a gentleman he is. I've got so much respect for him and it was like he handed over the reins to me.”
Victory vindicated Quigg's decision to switch to trainer, Joe Gallagher, who saw his sixth British champion crowned at Bolton's Reebok Stadium.
“Scott's got big ears and a small mouth and that’s exactly what you want,” said Gallagher.
All the skills and tricks Jason ‘2 Smooth’ Booth has learned throughout his 15-year career were not enough to prevent Scott Quigg taking the British super-bantamweight title in Bolton.
Booth, boxing a month before his 34th birthday, retired on his stool after seven one-sided rounds at the Reebok Stadium.
Quigg, although the betting favourite, was thought to face the toughest test of his unbeaten career against a wise old champion.
As it turned out, size as much as youth was the deciding factor. Booth was making the fifth defence of his 8st 10lbs belt, but as he pointed out afterwards, only fought for the title at short notice after another fight fell through.
He had been the Commonwealth bantamweight champion and was talking of campaigning at 8st 3lbs.
Booth may return to a lower weight class now – and reckons Quigg, now unbeaten in 23 fights, can achieve much.
Booth said afterwards: “Scott is amazing. I really can’t find a fault with him. He was in control all the time.”
After the fourth, Booth asked his corner when Quigg was going to tire and also told them: “He’s strong.”
By then, the fight’s pattern had been set. Booth boxed on the ring perimeter flicking out punches that Quigg walked through before unloading his own.
Booth would start rounds by launching right hands with maximum power, but Quigg just ignored them and kept walking him down.
In the sixth, Booth was caught flush by a short left hook on the inside and took a few steps back to allow his head to clear. His corner sensed the fight was lost and told Booth he had only one more round after the sixth.
He was spirited in the seventh, but could do nothing to stop Quigg coming forward and at the bell to end the round, he out his arm around the Bury ticket seller to offer his congratulations.
The British middleweight title eliminator between southpaws Kerry Hope and Tony Hill was decided by a last-round knockdown.
Going into the final session, judge Richie Davies had them level, while Ian John-Lewis had Hill two points in front and Steve Gray had Hope in a healthy lead.
Hill started the 10th round better, but midway through Hope launched a left hand that landed flush and Tony was dazed and had to touch down. Hill tried to fight back, but the fight was lost.
Both weighed 11st 5lbs 8ozs.
It had been a cracking, give-and-take fight throughout. Hope was busier with his crowding attacks, but Hill, denied the room to work at long range, threw less, but landed the classier, cleaner punches on the inside.
Karl Place (10st 6lbs) ticked over before his British-title eliminator against Stevie Williams on December 3 with a shut-out six-round points win over Slovakian import Ivan Godor (9st 11lbs 8ozs).
Godor didn’t make it easy for Place – he was awkward, hard to hit and nailed him with the occasional right – and Karl stuck to boxing behind his jab to win the fight.
Sunderland scrapper Glenn Foot (10st 13lbs 6ozs) came through a battle of unbeatens with Blackburn southpaw Ali Shah (10st 8lbs 8ozs).
Shah landed enough pot shots to win the opener, but after that, Foot got close enough to maul him, rough him up and slam home sledgehammer right hands. Shah was shaken several times. Foot won it 59-55.
Danny Price, twice ABA heavyweight champion, launched his pro career by wiping pout Michal Tomko (13st 1lbs) in 41 seconds.
At 14st 8lbs 12ozs, Price had a massive weight advantage and Tomko twice rushed onto punches that left him flat on his face. “I wanted to take my time,” said well-supported Danny, “but he kept running onto my punches.”
Jonson McClumpha won a crowdpleasing six-round middleweight clash with Jason Ball.
McClumpha is long armed and heavy handed and several times in the opening three rounds, Ball was shaken up by rights. But he took the Sunderland fighter’s best punches without folding and had his own success in the second half of the fight.