Ring report and 1997 Predictions

By: Derek Cusack (dark@irelands-web.ie)
                           COLIN MC MILLAN - PAUL INGLE
                                  (British featherweight title)
                           York Hall, London - January 11, 1997 

Tonight I watched five World title fights, but the contest of the 
evening saw Paul Ingle battling fiercely to wrest the British 
featherweight title from Colin Mc Millan.

The come - forward hooking style of the 24 year - old challenger was 
always expected to pose problems for Mc Millan, but in the end it 
proved too much for 'Sweet C'. Colin's expert skills won him man
y accolades and fans as an amateur, and when he turned pro in 1988 
he actually sold shares in his career (to pay dividends if he won a
World title without losing a fight).

Now a former WBO champion and current secretary of the Professional 
Boxers Association, Mc Millan saw this fight as another step back 
towards World glory. There was nothing between them in the first.
Ominously, Ingle managed to get inside the champions defence but was 
caught too often by hooks to the head.

Ingle set the pace and was allowed to settle in round two. 
Surprisingly, Mc Millan stood right in front of Ingle at the end of
the session as the challenger launched a solid head and body attack.
Mc Millan's dazzling footwork seemed to be on vacation. Colin at last 
started putting snap into his punches in the third, and was in turn 
keeping 'The Yorkshire Hunter' at bay.

Previously the champion had simply been making Ingle miss and 
marvelling at his own expertise, but in round three he began 
counterpunching instead. In the following round, Ingle took control 
by countering Mc Millan's attacks. The challenger was visibly rising 
in confidence by now. One could guage the quality of the contest by 
the fact that there wasn't a single clinch in the first four rounds.

Round five saw and epic display of boxing from both participants. 
'Sweet C' showed shades of Ali in the Foreman fight as he allowed 
the enthusiastic Yorkshireman to swarm all over him on the ropes. I
felt the champion was beginning to fade, but he bounced back to 
outbox Ingle with sharp combinations. It was a true see - saw war.

Mc Millan picked up where he left off at the end of the fifth to 
dominate round six. Ingle was still there but Colin showed sheer 
courage in setting the pace. The challenger resembled a windmill in 
round seven, and he proved he could match Mc Millan's heart as he 
stayed right on top of him. Colin's right eye - cut in the third - 
was pouring blood by now.

Mc Millan rallied back at the start of the eigth, but when Ingle 
hadn't weakened by the halfway mark 'Sweet C' looked exhausted and 
demoralised. A left uppercut rocked the champion's head back and a 
straight right sent him crumbling to the canvas. The referee stopped 
it immediately, but poor Colin would never have beaten the count.

I'll leave the final word to promoter Frank Maloney: He said it was 
worth flying 6, 000 miles from Lennox Lewis' training camp "just to 
be here, just to watch it."

                                    FORWARD TO 1997 
                       (all listings in decreasing order of weight)


JOHNNY NELSON (cruiserweight, Sheffield)
Nelson looked more impressive than ever in winning the British title 
against Dennis Andries last month. This year he will bring a World 
title back to Sheffield if he can keep the demons in his head at
bay - he froze in two previous attempts.

MARK PRINCE (light heavyweight, Tottenham)
Mark beat the skilled Maurice Core in July for the WBO 
intercontinental crown. He has speedily compiled a 14-0 record and 
was offered a crack at WBO champion Dariusz Michalczewski late last 
year. Wisely, he declined - he is a fight or two from being ready 
yet but will be by late '97.

HENRY WHARTON (super middleweight, York)
Wharton's only two losses came in World title challenges against 
Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank. Since these setbacks he has kept busy 
against quality opposition (including Vincenzo Nardiello and Mauro 
Galvano) and retains his fitness, durability and punching power. He 
recently relinquished his European title to concentrate on gaining 
a fight for Robin Reid's WBC crown - for which he is mandatory 
challenger and which he will win when his chance comes.

ADRIAN DODSON (light middleweight, Islington)
Dodson should have won a title in 1996, but the undefeaten WBO 
intercontinental champion suffered a frustrating hand injury while 
beating John Bosco in April. This kept him out of action until 
November when he stopped Anthony Joseph in one round. Having 
completed his intercontinental formalities, Dodson is now set 
to challenge Ronald 'Winky' Wright in the new year. While his 
boxing skills are no better than those of Wright, Adrian punches 
harder and this should be the key. He keeps busy on January 24 
against an opponent yet to be named.

WAYNE MC CULLOUGH (super bantamweight, Belfast)
Wayne has just lost a challenge to Daniel Zaragoza and vacated his 
WBC bantamweight title in one unfortunate swoop. If however he 
corrects his maistkes from this fight he can beat Daniel in a return 
(which is already being talked about and will seemingly take place in 
Dublin). He also possesses the skills to win any of the other three 
versions, but Wayne has said in the past that he beieves the 
WBC title (in general) to be the most authentic.


Jason Matthews (middleweight, Islington)
Ryan Rhodes (light middleweight, Sheffield)
Michael Carruth (welterweight, Dublin)
Paul Griffin (featherweight, Dublin)
Michael Brodie (super bantamweight, Manchester)
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