Sometimes it isn’t pretty but champions invariably get the job done.
That was the case for Anthony Nelson last night in Morpeth, where he recorded his 11th straight victory as a professional, outpointing Ian Halsall over six rounds.
Sometimes you have to grind it outMAL GATES
The South Shields sporting superstar was short of his best in his first appearance in a ring since winning the vacant Commonwealth super-flyweight against brave Scot Jamie Wilson in Newcastle in April. Halsall made a full contribution at the Riverside Lodge, but Nelson emerged with a 59-55 verdict from referee Andrew Wright.
It completed a tumultuous week for the 29-year-old, who became a dad for the third time when wife, Zoe, gave birth to Leyla Sophia on Wednesday night.
“I think it all caught up with Anthony,” said coach Mal Gates. “He won clearly but I think he faded a little as the contest wore on and needed to tough it out a bit.
“But he showed the heart of a champion to re-assert himself and beat a good boxer.”
The way Nelson set about the six rounder it looked like he may well have been in for an early night.
His opponent, from St Helens, felt the power of the fighter known as “Babyface” in the opening round, as the Harton & Westoe Miners Welfsare-trained boxer drove in some spiteful body shots.
Nelson kept up the pressure though, perhaps, the energy he expended in those early stages may well have had an effect on him.
Halsall did not carry a great deal of power but the 29-year-old was not short on skill.
He grew into the contest and probably had the better of the fifth.
However, Nelson finished strongly to take his win tally to 11 bouts, on the Steve Wraith-promoted event.
“Sometimes you have to grind it out, bite on your gumshield, however you want to describe it,” added Gates. “It was good Anthony got back in there.
“Halsall was a nice boxer but Anthony was probably the stronger, more polished fighter and he got the win.”
Nelson’s success completed a double for the Gates camp in Northumberland.
New signing Paul Gidney enjoyed a dreamdebut when he registered a shut-out points success over Sheffield’s Anway Alfadli.
The 28-year-old has joined the pro ranks late in his boxing life but the former Boldon amateur star made up for lost time.
Gidney delivered some impressive long shots into the body of the 27-year-old Kuwaiti and clinched a deserved 40-36 verdict from Mr Wright.
“The other kid was tricky, but Paul stuck to the game-plan,” said Gates. “He had no nerves – Paul must be one of the coolest kids who has ever boxed for us.
“Everything I told him to do, he executed. He’s like a sponge, everything sinks in.
“It was a good debut, he boxed really well.”