Draw enough for Bayaar
Cut in the ninth has champion hanging on
Last Updated: 15/05/10 3:59pm
Veteran flyweight Shinny Bayaar retained his British flyweight title after a 12-round draw against Ashley Sexton in Dagenham.
Sexton came into the fight with nine straight wins and at 22 was well-fancied to claim the title from an opponent 10 years his senior.
But the Mongolian-born Bayaar was probably unlucky not to retain his belt with a win, after dominating the first eight rounds of the fight.
Sexton, who had boxed just 33 rounds previously as a professional, finished far the stronger and was on top for the final four rounds.
But Bayaar had probably done enough earlier on to retain his title, eventually settling for a draw on the scorecards 116-112, 112-116 and 114-114.
Bayaar spent most of the early rounds picking Sexton off as the younger man struggled to find any rhythm.
In fact the fight looked to be heading for a routine victory to the champion before a clash of heads in the ninth brought some much-needed urgency to the contest.
With blood flowing from a deep gash above his right eye, Bayaar was forced into survival mode in the closing rounds, grimacing with pain and attempting to keep the wound away from the burrowing attacks of Sexton.
Sexton saw his chance and hammered away at an increasingly fragile champion as the fight entered the final two rounds, although it was still somewhat surprising that the judges had the fight so close on their scorecards.