Salford’s Jamie Moore, the scowling, muscled British champion, repelled the challenge of Bermondsey’s entertaining challenger, David Walker, in the fourth round of his 154-pound title at the GH Carnall Leisure Centre, Manchester.
The result represented a massive disappointment for Walker, a fighter who came close to engaging terrestrial audiences en route to an ill-advised European title shot on the BBC in 2003, and could be the pretext for his retirement aged 29. It will be shame if the domestic scene loses one of its value-for-money warriors, but before the fight he stated that if he couldn’t win at this level there was little point continuing.
For Jamie Moore the fight represented further evidence of his growing confidence and consistent form, the type that has probably established him as the country’s top performer at the weight. Ageing compatriots Takaloo and Wayne Alexander may enjoy greater profile, but Moore’s star is in the ascendancy and if tonight’s ruthless efficiency could be maintained he may have a future beyond the British scene.
Entering the ring to the eerie sound of a lone air raid claxon – a clear motif to Mike Tyson – a fighter on whom Moore styled his early career – Moore looked focussed and menacing. Walker, who’d been waiting all his life for this according to the Phil Collins track that accompanied his walk to the ring, looked relaxed and calm.
And in the opening round, Walker’s best, it looked promising. Pulling his gloves up tight, a necessary but unnatural discipline, Walker threw more shots than the southpaw champion. Moore landed the first significant blow though, dropping a right to the body, but Walker replied with two looping rights and a snapping right uppercut. Moore kept his defence close and picked his shots from a jarring jab but the bearded Walker was busier and edged the round.
Soon into the second, Moore continued his successful strategy of sinking in body shots; a blinking Walker began to give up centre ring as Moore grew into the fight. From one exchange Moore emerged with blood from his left eye caused by a clash of heads. Walker continued to try and unload but the champion parried and blocked much of Walker’s work, and though busier, the accuracy and shot selection came from Moore.
By the third Moore had taken complete control of centre ring, Walker blinking at every blow, his head jarred with every punch. Moore’s jab was the most telling weapon, but it was a double left hook to the body that forced Walker to take a knee as the bell rang. Walker rose and slumped to his stool, and in a moment of confusion rose again to complete the mandatory eight-count from referee Paul Thomas.
The dye was cast. Walker emerged for the fourth and tried to box on the retreat, an alien concept for this honest professional, and it wasn’t long until the finishing blows landed: two uppercuts, complimented by two shots to Walker’s body and two cuffing left hooks, and Walker fell on to his back. A corner towel landed alongside him and referee Paul Thomas called Walker’s brave challenge off.
Jamie Moore, at just 24, has greater horizons ahead and improved to 22-3 (16) whilst David “Kid Dynamite” Walker falls to 23-3-1 (13) and may well elect to retire.
If he does, he’s entertained many along the way.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV