Junior middleweight Scott Fitzgerald 14-0 (9) claimed the BBBofC British title with a close and controversial 12-round points win over Ted Cheeseman 15-2-1 (9) at the Newcastle Arena in Newcastle, England on Saturday night.
When the dust settled, all three judges awarded the victory to the 27-year-old from Preston. Howard John Foster had Fitzgerald leading 115-113, while both Phil Edwards and Marcus McDonnell had him leading 116-112.
“It was very close,” admitted Fitzgerald after the fight.
“I was far from happy with it. I definitely won the last three, maybe four rounds. I did fall behind in the fight, I felt. I felt I couldn’t step through the gears – I had to drag it out of myself. The last fight [against Anthony Fowler] I had quite a lot of energy.”
The usually aggressive Cheeseman opted to box off the backfoot for much of the fight, frustrating Fitzgerald and nullifying his attacks.
It took until the fifth round before Fitzgerald had any real success, but Cheeseman responded with a strong showing in the sixth and seventh frames.
The action heated up in the ninth with Fitzgerald hammering home his left hook and bloodying Cheeseman’s nose in the 10th.
Fitzgerald continued to dish out the punishment in the championship rounds, delivering spiteful shots to Cheeseman’s midsection.
Promoter Eddie Hearn flagged the idea of a rematch.
“I think for (eight) rounds, Ted Cheeseman put on a boxing clinic. I thought it was over,” he said. “I think Scott Fitzgerald won the last four rounds of the fight. Very close. Very close.”
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