SUNDERLAND has a new boxing champion today after Glenn Foot won Sky’s Prizefighter: Welterweights III contest and prize money worth £34,000.
He had to box three very contrasting fights on his way to the title at Wolverhampton.
But he did everything he said he would do in the lead up to the competition – meeting every opponent head on and look to take the fight to them.
It was his work-rate and attitude which helped him take the title, as well as his skills and durability.
He earned himself a £2,000 bonus in his first fight – the reward for a stoppage – when he comfortably disposed of Stourbridge’s Steven Pearce.
The West Midlands’ man was the local favourite but was unable to live with Foot’s all-action style from the start and after reeling from a big right hand, it was only a matter of time before the referee stopped the bout in the second round.
Foot’s semi-final, though, was a different proposition altogether as he took on fellow unbeaten pro Chad Gaynor.
The Rotherham boxer had completely outclassed Calum Cooper in his opening bout and looks a real prospect.
But Foot’s tactic of all-out attack proved to be key to his win.
The Marley Pots man put so much energy and fired so many shots in the opening round that he almost overwhelmed his opponent.
And though Gaynor rallied, staggering Foot with one good shot in the second, he was unable to make up the deficit.
That fight was the fight of the night and the danger was it might have taken too much out of Foot going into his third and final bout.
He was up against fellow unbeaten Welsh fighter Dale Evans, who had overcome pre-tournament favourite Mark Thompson in the semi-finals thanks to a unanimous points decision..
The final too was decided on points, this time a split decision, with both boxers struggling to reproduce the energy levels and accuracy of their earlier contests.
Foot again started off well but Evans was never out of it – the Sunderland man doing most of the work but his opponent getting in occasional shots.
In the end it was Foot’s superior aggression, powerful right hands and hard work which ensured he won the first Prizefighter trophy of 2013.
Foot looked confident after the final bell, but fighters can never be completely sure until the referee raises their arm.
Foot’s arm was raised aloft though, to the delight of more than 100 friends and family who had given him great support on the night.
And the 25-year-old closed his eyes, smiled and gave thanks that the dream he had single-mindedly worked towards for months, had been achieved.