EDLINGTON cruiserweight John Anthony proved himself a tough test for local fighter Toks Owoh at Bethnal Green’s famous York Hall.
The 36-year-old powerhouse rattled Owoh with some heavy shots in the middle rounds, turning up the pressure and looking capable of a shock stoppage on a couple of occasions.
But Owoh’s efforts over the full six rounds earned him a 59-56 decision from referee Ian John-Lewis last Saturday.
Anthony certainly did not hold back and from the first bell delivered some cracking right hands and combinations to Owoh’s head and body.
Owoh fought back and Anthony took a nasty left to the jaw towards the end of the first, but recovered well to go in steaming in the second round with some well placed and swift shots to the Londoner’s abdomen and ribs.
Midway through the second Anthony was pressured into a corner and took some hammer blows from Owoh, who was carrying some firepower in his weight advantage.
But valiantly Anthony really banged his way out of it and took his opponent to the centre of the ring with an armoury of smashing left right combos to Owoh ,who was pretty much saved by the bell.
In the third and fourth rounds both boxers gave their all, despite the jeering of the local-crowd against Anthony, it seemed to make him fight harder, faster and stronger.
There was no way Owoh was going to get an easy ride.
Both fighters kept their game fairly even through the remainder of the fourth and fifth with Owoh trying for swinging upper cuts but largely missing his target, although Anthony missed a couple of great opportunities where he could have edged forward and delivered a good shot to Owoh’s unguarded head.
In the sixth and final round, it was clearly tiring for both boxers.
Owoh – two years senior to Anthony – was flagging, though amazingly, again powered back into him after taking at least 12 cracking body punches on the go from Anthony who was now fighting as if his life depended on it.
Towards the end of the round, the match got somewhat scrappy as it took its toll out of both fighters after such an action packed fight.