Victorious Barclay stays on course for a title shot

Corby's Simon Barclay beat Micky Steeds at the Best Western Hotel
Corby's Simon Barclay beat Micky Steeds at the Best Western Hotel

Corby cruiserweight Simon Barclay stayed on course for a title shot with a career-best win in front of his home-town crowd on Friday night.

His English-title eliminator with Micky Steeds at the Best Western Hotel ended when the Londoner pulled out at the end of the seventh of the scheduled 10 rounds.

Referee Sean Messer had Barclay 69-63 ahead after seven rounds and well on his way to victory.

Barclay, nicked over both eyes, said: “It was a tough fight, but I always felt in control” and that’s a good assessment of his night’s work.

Late in the first, Barclay dumped Steeds on the seat of his trunks for a brief count with a sweetly-timed left-right and a similar combination shook up the East Ender in the second.

Barclay couldn’t find the punches to finish the job and boxed well under pressure as Steeds kept taking the fight to him.

Barclay kept his defences tight, picked the cleaner punches and in the sixth, Steeds looked to be unravelling.

Barclay hurt him again in the seventh with pinpoint punches and his retirement at the end of the session came as no surprise.

Barclay added: “I’m really pleased. I made a tough guy quit.

“I showed I have the power. I think I hurt him in most of the rounds.”

Darren Murray made it a win double for Corby fighters by outpointing Ali Wyatt over four rounds.

The referee scored 40-37, giving Wyatt a share of one of the rounds, possibly the fourth.

Wyatt, a tough journeyman who can punch, was a late replacement for Danny Donchev and Murray patiently walked him down, hurt him with body shots and proved he can hold a shot as well.

Murray, cut on his left eyebrow towards the end of the second round, said after making it back-to-back wins as a professional: “It was tough, but I boxed a lot better than I did on my debut.”

In another good fight, Leicester super-featherweight Lyon Woodstock dug in to beat late sub Michael Mooney in a hard-fought four rounder and Ben Jones, the ex-WBO European champion from Crawley, dominated Michael Stupart over the same distance.