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05.06.2005 Sports News

Okine Retains Title

Ghanaian Joshua Okine retained his Commonwealth welterweight crown at the MEN Arena in Manchester on Saturday night with a 12th round stoppage win over David Barnes.

The 24-year-old Barnes appeared to be coasting in the first four rounds by boxing on the outside but then was surprisingly decked out of the blue in the fifth round.

Okine proved a slow starter as Barnes collected the points with his jabs but Okine connected with a series of glancing blows across the 24 year-old's chin to score a knockdown. Barnes immediately rose to his feet but then sat back down again until the count reached eight before getting up again.

Somehow Barnes survived the round despite his poor recovery, though Okine looked as if he was tiring after putting in a big effort to finish Barnes off.

From then on Barnes tried to turn things in his favour while throwing the odd heavy left hand as Okine continued to press forward to force the fight.

The Ghanaian finally caught up with the worryingly non defensive and inexperienced Barnes after 2.00 mins of the 12th and final round. Okine caught Barnes with a heavy right hand in the middle of the ring and continued the pressure as referee Phil Edwards jumped in to stop the fight.