BEAUTIFUL it was not. But Glenn Foot warmed up for the biggest night of his career with victory in Houghton.
Foot, the headline act at Phil Jeffries’ Cream of the Crop show, defeated rugged Lancashire fighter William Warburton over six gruelling rounds.
It was a tough work-out, the Sunderland boxer clinching a 59-56 verdict from referee Steve Hawkins.
Yesterday’s win, the 14th straight success of Foot’s career, was the prelude to a challenge for Ahmet Patterson’s English welterweight title.
Foot will take on the Londoner in the capital in the early spring, the bout between the two unbeaten stars also being an eliminator for Frankie Gavin’s British crown.
The 28-year-old, from Marley Pots, and his team, coach David Binns and manager Jeffries, all knew a “good warm-up” was needed for someone who has endured a frustrating time since success in Prizefighter last year.
And Jaffa was pleased with the end result.
“It was a good warm-up,” said Jeffries.
“It was a bit of a brawl, but the main positive I took from it was he got the six rounds under his belt.
“To be honest, it was not the prettiest of bouts but he won the fight and he did the distance.
“My job as his manager was to make sure he got the rounds, that’s why Warburton was picked.
“William is a good, hard character, that is what Glenn needed.
“It looks like the fight with Patterson will be in February or March and yesterday wuill have done Glenn the power of good.”
For all the talk of getting some ring minutes in the bag, the way Foot set out, it appeared as though he was keen on an early night.
The home hero started with tremendous purpose, forcing back Warburton and sinking some big right handers into the Atherton boxer’s body.
Warburton had a brief riposte in round two but that only provoked Foot into chucking more stinging rights.
The pace eased in the third but again Foot’s favourite fist scored and everything in the Wearside garden looked rosy.
Warburton though picked up his game in the fourth and his jab was sharp and accurate, with the former Sunderland ABC favourite losing his impetus.
Round five followed a similar routine with Foot beginning to look a little ragged.
It was perhaps no surprise - this was only his second contest of 2014 and has been a relatively short notice.
That he was not firing on all cylinders should not be a cause for concern.
Glenn did get his Foot back on the accelerator in the last and finished strongly, forcing Warburton to go on the retreat as he ended on a high note.