Southern-area boxing title is just the start for Lavelle

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CHICHESTER’S Billy Valentine Lavelle has won the BBU southern area lightweight boxing title.

Fighting at South Parade Pier, Southsea, the St Gerards Boxing Club starlet created a storm in the ring up against Tom Murray from Manchester.

Both weighed in within the lightweight limit of 61.34kg and 18-year-old Lavelle had to cope with a late change of opponent for the top-of-the-bill contest.

The atmosphere was electric and the crowd were eagerly expecting a classic.

Lavelle was boxing out of Team Bessey’s corner with Billy Bessey in his corner – himself the 1999 ABA superheavyweight champion and one of the first professional prizefighter contenders in heavyweight boxing.

The contest was over four two-minute rounds and Lavelle controlled the fight from the off. Staying on the outside and central to the ring he fired off pockets of shots, hitting his opponent at ease.

Rounds two and three were much the same and in round four the Murray corner retired their man.

The referee scored it over the rounds, giving Lavelle the victory by 30-27 to make him the new southern-area lightweight champion.

Bessey said he was tremendously proud of Lavelle and his sports science coach Ash Sutherland was quick to ask the fighter how he felt at the end of the fight. Lavelle replied: “Now I need a bigger challenge.”

Team Bessey collected £350.50 on the night for for the Sussex Snowdrop Trust, which supports seriously-ill children.