Tommy Barber – London
A heavyweight clash between two domestic big men ended in disappointing fashion as an accidental clash of heads and a close technical decision separated the winner, Sam Sexton, from Larry Olubamiwo at York Hall, Bethnal Green in London on Friday, January 13. Olubamiwo possessed the harder jab in the five rounds it lasted, yet Sexton – who ended up sporting a mask of blood – showed greater movement and activity.
Official verdict: Sexton wins a 49-48 referee’s decision.
The heavyweight contest of the evening was a crossroads contest for both fighters as Olubamiwo was coming off the back of an emphatic first round knockout defeat to John McDermott, while Sexton had fought just once since a stoppage loss to Dereck Chisora, who was ringside.
A clean shot in the opening round awoke Sexton enough to attempt a hard-punching flurry in order to test Olubamiwo’s chin early, however, the heavy-hitting Hackney man shrugged off the onslaught as if none of the punches had troubled him. The 34-year-old, dubbed the War Machine, showed an appreciation for the jab, but his lead shot was not a measuring punch… it had pop to it, and each one pushed into Sexton’s mouth and nose.
Sexton returned to his flurrying tactic in round three, roughing up Olubamiwo and attempting to bully the bigger man (6’4) by two inches. When Olubamiwo attempted to get into range and fired, Sexton kept his lead forward forward, leaned back and covered up – a tight defensive posture.
A cracking of two skulls midway through round four caused an angry cut to piss out of a brace of lacerations, to the side of the eyebrow and top of the head and, when the claret was wiped clean with a towel, Olubamiwo aggressively targeted the cuts. Despite Sexton’s corner working the cuts prior to the commencement of round five, it was work made in vein because as soon as Larry’s leather lashed down onto the wounds, blood began free-flowing.
The cuts were so bad, that the referee called a halt to the contest and, according to BBBoC ruling and as the fight had gone past the fourth round stage, the bout went to the scorecard and the referee judged a 49-48 win for Sexton.
“I definitely [could have gone on],” Sexton – who rose to 15-2-0, 6ko – said to Box Nation. “I was getting warmed up and starting to get my shots going. The blood was trickling in my eye a little but I felt good, I was just getting my groove on.”
Dropping to 10-3-0, 9ko, Olubamiwo immediately called for a rematch, stating: “We’ve got unfinished business. You can’t conclude a fight like that!”