Phil Sutcliffe Jr scores razor-close win over Jenkins in Belfast

Phil Sutcliffe Jr claimed the biggest win of his career tonight with a ten-round points victory over Welshman Chris Jenkins at the Titanic Exhibition Centre.

Fighting on the Belfast Boxnation card, Sutcliffe scored an opening round knockdown before having to endure a huge fightback from Jenkins. A close fight throughout, the fight was decided by an overly-wide margin on the cards.

The Dubliner began like an animal and floored Jenkins within the first minute with a short left hook. Sutcliffe went in for the kill but, to his credit, fought back gamely and hurt Sutcliffe with a succession of body shots.

An even, quieter, second saw both have their moments, although Jenkins was perhaps the busier with the jab.

A close third was probably shaded by Sutcliffe following a heavy succession of flurries in the final thirty seconds.

Sutcliffe landed the heavier shots in the fourth, a round which sprang into life in the final round with both punchers trading on the ropes.

The fifth frame was a tale of two halves, with Sutcliffe dominating his man on to the ropes early but Jenkins having a strong final minute.

Jenkins took the initiative in the sixth, dominating with the jab early before he was wobbled by a combination from the Irishman toward the end of the round.

The seventh was the Welshman’s best of the fight thus far, landing frequently with great success.

A visibly tired Sutcliffe went to war in the eight, with both boxers seeming hurt, although again it was Jenkins landing the greater number of punches.

While Jenkins started the penultimate round on the back foot, the war soon restarted with an exhausted-looked Sutcliffe struggling toward the end.

The final round descended into a brawl, with both fighters using their knowledge of the dark arts, and the Crumlin fighter finishing the stronger.

An insanely close fight which tilted back and forward throughout, it went to the scorecards. Referee Hugh Russell Jr then cast a shadow over an exciting, if somewhat dirty, scrap with a ridiculous scoreline of 98-93 in favour of Sutcliffe. By comparison, the assorted journalists at ringside had it either a draw or one point either side.

Sutcliffe now moves to 12(7)-1(0), while Jenkins drops to 16(8)-2(0)-1.

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