RYAN WALSH is still British featherweight champion – courtesy of a split decision win over game challenger Lewis Paulin at York Hall.
At the end of 12 rounds I was sure Paulin had won. When judge Ian John-Lewis’s 117-111 scoreline was read out, my immediate thought was “That wide?” – and when I heard “Walsh” I couldn’t believe it. Marcus McDonnell scored for Paulin, 115-113 – so it came down to Mark Lyson, who had a narrow 115-114 for the champion.
There were parallels with the Ted Cheeseman-Kieron Conway super-welterweight bout a week earlier (which ended in a split draw). There, too, Marcus McDonnell was the one voting for the challenger – and there, too, the champion needed a late rally to cling onto his title.