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Brad Pauls wins his first title

Brad Pauls
Action Images/Henry Browne
Brad Pauls knocks out Darren Codona. Simon Euan Smith reports from ringside

BRAD PAULS captured the vacant Southern Area middleweight title in style, despatching Guildford’s Darren Codona in the third of a scheduled 10-rounder at York Hall.

Codona was trapped on the ropes, and a two-fisted burst, finishing with a right to the head, put him down for “eight.” Pauls’ follow-up quickly had him down again, in a neutral corner – he made it up at “nine” but was still unsteady, and referee Lee Cook counted him out after one minute 23 seconds.

Pauls, Newquay-born but based in Harlow, notched up his 13th straight win and will be looking to bigger things.

The first round was quiet, with both moving and watching. Codona opened up towards the end, but Pauls took charge from the second.

Pauls scored early with a solid left to the body, and later a two-fisted attack had Codona ducking and covering up on the ropes. Pauls landed another left to the body, and Codona hit back gamely.

Codona was thrown down soon after the start of the third – and then Pauls opened up to have Codona under pressure on the ropes. It was the beginning of the end.

There was a confused ending to the scheduled four-rounder between Jack Newham (Hayes) and Blackburn’s Naheem Chaudhry, which was finally declared a technical draw at 2-14 of the second. Newham was ruled out with a large haematoma below the hairline on the right side, referee Cook ruling it the result of an accidental head clash.

Newham won the first and was picking his shots effectively in the second – until Chaudhry banged in a right that sent Newham down, face-first. He got up at “four,” but at the completion of the count Chaudhry was on him at once, driving him across the ring. A shock looked on the cards – but with Newham’s injury in a terrible state referee Cook took him to the corner, and signalled the end after a doctor’s examination.

A distraught Newham sank to the canvas, clearly thinking he’d been stopped – and, without the injury, he could have been.

Birmingham’s Ben Fields likes ruining prospects’ 100 per cent records. A fortnight after handing Kane Gardner his first defeat, he held Barking’s Denis Denikajev – 3-0 going in – to a draw after four lively rounds, referee Lee Every scoring 38 apiece.

Fields pressed forward all the way, while Denikajev moved and countered as Fields came in. After three I thought Denikajev was heading for a points win – but Fields made a big effort in the last, which saw Denikajev wrestled over at one point.

The Goodwin Boxing promotion started with two good-value four-rounders, with the wide margins not reflecting the losers’ contributions.

Neil Parry (Canterbury) took referee Cook’s 40-36 verdict over Newark’s Fonz Alexander, who always came back gamely after being caught.

Parry was more on target in the first, and when Alexander went on the attack in the second he was met by counters. Parry continued to counter well, showing good variety, but Alexander fought spiritedly up to the end.

Last time out, Brandon Ball shockingly lost his unbeaten record via first-round stoppage to Stefan Sashev in this ring. Referee that time was Lee Every – who handed Ball a 39-36 verdict over Robbie Forster, with the Caerphilly man docked a point in the third for headwork.

I thought Forster a little unlucky. He set a fast pace, forcing Ball to hold, and continued forcing the fight throughout. Ball switched stance, created space when he could, and countered as Forster came in – and warnings for headwork, culminating in the point deduction, wouldn’t have helped Forster’s cause. But I thought Ball was forced to fight Forster’s fight more than Forster Ball’s.

Unbeaten Adrian Redman (Harlesden) finished with a small swelling below the left eye, but took a 60-54 verdict over York’s Harry Matthews after six. Ian John-Lewis refereed.

Muheeb Fazeldin (Sheffield) and Stockport’s Jamie Quinn both indulged in some clowning during their “six,” which saw Fazeldin take Mr Every’s 60-54 verdict.

In other sixes there were 60-54 wins for Jake Ball (Lightwater) over Middleton’s Darryl Sharp (John-Lewis) and Jack Hughes (Greenford) over Bulgarian Stefan Slavchev (Every).

In fours, Mr Cook had Colchester’s Alan Ratibb beating Dylan Draper (Braintree) by 39-37 and Ish O’Connor (Ipswich) beating Islington’s Jordan Grannum by 40-36; and there were 40-36 wins for Billy Jackson (Bromley) over Brierley Hill’s MJ Hall (John-Lewis) and Londoner Yaser Al-Ghena over Sheffield’s Qasim Hussain (Every).

The Verdict Pauls wins first professional title at the age of 26.

Brad Pauls (160lbs), 13-0 (8), w ko 3 Darren Codona (159lbs), 7-5-2 (1); Neil Parry (148lbs), 6-1-1, w pts 4 Fonz Alexander (149lbs), 6-96 (4); Brandon Ball (131lbs), 5-1 (1), w pts 4 Robbie Forster (130lbs), 0-9; Adrian Redman (168lbs), 5-0, w pts 6 Harry Matthews (174lbs), 16-44-3 (2); Jack Newham (141lbs), 5-1-1, tech dec 2 Naheem Chaudhry (146lbs), 2-46-1 (1); Billy Jackson (153lbs), 3-0, w pts 4 MJ Hall (149lbs), 0-38-2; Muheeb Fazeldin (133lbs), 13-0 (1), w pts 6 Jamie Quinn (135lbs), 5-85-2; Jake Ball (173lbs), 13-2 (9), w pts 6 Darryl Sharp (177lbs), 5-54; Yaser Al-Ghena (147lbs), 4-0, w pts 4 Qasim Hussain (149lbs), 4-87-2; Alan Ratibb (147lbs), 8-2 (1), w pts 4 Dylan Draper (148lbs), 1-33; Denis Denikajev (144lbs), 3-0-1, derw pts 4 Ben Fields (146lbs), 5-7-2; Jack Hughes (128lbs), 6-2, w pts 6 Stefan Slavchev (126lbs), 10-34-2 (4); Ish O’Connor (160lbs), 2-0, w pts 4 Jordan Grannum (161lbs), 5-52-2.

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