Triumphant Theophane enjoying home comforts

PUBLISHED: 11:04 23 February 2011



GERARD FARRELL / DZ PICTURES; TEL: 0044-7831-396-923

NEW British light-welterweight champion Ashley Theophane has hinted he may put overseas opportunities on hold to concentrate on the defence of his crown.

The Kilburn star, who outpointed durable title holder Lenny Daws to snatch the belt at Wembley Arena on Saturday, has already been lined up to fight in Germany this summer.

In recent years, the 30-year-old has also been trying to forge a career in the United States – and Saturday’s shock success was only his second fight on home ground in almost two years.

But, after becoming only the second man to defeat Daws, the former All Stars ABC amateur has set his immediate attention on further domestic success.

“There’s been talk of me fighting Americans and all that, and at first I was thinking about America, but I’m happy to have this belt around my waist,” said Theophane.

“When I heard the words ‘and the new...’ I was so happy. It feels good to be British champion – now I can say I was British champion and no-one can ever take that away from me.

“I’ve boxed on small shows since 2003 and it’s nice to come to Wembley Arena. I couldn’t have thought of a better way of winning the British title than fighting at Wembley – wherever I am, London is always home.

“I want to defend it at least once, I’d like to make a voluntary defence and part of the contract with [promoter] Mick Hennessy is it has to be within the next five months.”

Theophane’s chances of victory seemed slim during the early stages as he let fly and missed with a number of right overhand shots, while the hard-working Daws did just enough to edge rounds.

But the challenger gradually began to get his jab working and then caught Daws with solid lefts in the sixth and seventh rounds as the momentum turned in his favour.

The ninth proved to be the key round as Theophane unleashed a vicious right hook to the side of the champion’s head, sending him to the canvas – and repeated the trick soon afterwards.

Daws did well to recover from that damaging round, but a substantial body shot in the next maintained Theophane’s control of the fight and it was then a question of closing the door.

It was only the second time Theophane had completed a full 12 rounds, but the Kilburn boxer had done enough to earn a unanimous decision from the judges.

Two scored the contest at 115-111, with the third handing Daws an extra round at 115-112 as Theophane’s professional record moved to 29 wins and a draw from 34 fights.

“I’d done five 12-rounders in training because I knew he was fit,” added Theophane. “I did 12 rounds at All Stars and I went up to Liverpool to spar his last opponent Steve Williams, so I made sure I put in the work.

“I want to give a big shout out to [trainers] Dave Brown, Don Charles, and Harry Keaton who flew over from America to be in my corner.

“It was tricky because Daws was throwing a lot of punches but, when I started to get into my game plan, it got easier. I was playing with him in there and at the end I was still fresh.”

Theophane has already been targeted by unbeaten Frankie Gavin, who stopped Michael Lomax in the seventh round at York Hall on the same night.

“Theophane’s got something that I want and I am coming after him big time to get it,” declared Gavin.

“Hopefully my promoter Frank Warren can get me a British title fight within the next few months.”

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