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Belfast boy Anto Upton scores statement stoppage win

Now based full-time in Belfast, Anto Upton made a big statemenent tonight in Belfast.

The light welterweight featured on the Ginley Promotions ‘Danger at The Devenish’ bill and did what few others have, stopping the ultra-game Innocent Anyanwu

Upton had moved trainers as he came home to be with his young family, and tonight had his first fight under coach Ray Ginley of the Immanuel Boxing Academy – making the perfect start against an opponent who had given Ray Moylette and Jake Hanney tough fights.

Initially a controlled performance, until a ropey fifth, Upton rallied to claim a stoppage in the sixth and final round.

A cagey opener, Upton was the only of the fighters throwing, switching stances and popping off single shots.

The second opened up somewhat, and Upton was getting the better of the exchanges.

Into the third of a thus-far impressive performance, Upton momentarily hurt the teak-tough African to the body with a long right, but Anyanwu quickly recovered.

Boxing southpaw, Upton then rocked Anyanwu with a nice double left at the end of an open fourth.

A dramatic fifth saw Upton hit the canvas early. Already on the way down from a slip, the Belfast boxer was caught with a shot from Anyanwu. No count was administered but, smelling blood, Anyanwu began to reign in shots. Upton dug deep, but the heavier punches were coming from Anyanwu – who also received a warning for an extremely low blow.

Anyanwu continued his ascendancy in the final round, but Upton met fire with fire and sent the former BeNeLux champion down and crumpled into the ropes. Anyanwu beat the count but, following a barrage of sharp shots that sent him staggering back, referee John Lowey waved off the contest.

The big win sees Upton improve his record to 15(6)-1(0), while Anyanwu drops to 25(15)-24(5)-3.

gym trition

frayne carpentry

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie