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By John Hutchinson, Sports Reporter
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
JOE Smyth is hoping to revitalise his boxing career after he made a winning ring return on Friday night in London.
Chief support for Cheshunt fighter Phil Gill’s successful British Master’s Lightweight title contest against Ibrar Riyaz, Smyth blasted his way to an impressive victory when his opponent Steffan Hughes was stopped with a nasty eye injury in the fourth round.
Although the manner of the stoppage didn’t please the Herts hitter, Smyth looked sharp and powerful after over a year out of the squared circle.
Speaking ringside after his winning return, Smyth said: “I’m just delighted to get back out there, but I am disappointed at the way it finished.
“I felt I was going to stop him, and that I was well on top in the fight.
“But he’s [Hughes] a tough boy and was strong in there.
“Hopefully I will be back out soon, and want to keep on winning and keep on progressing.”
The first round saw Hatfield’s Smyth come out all guns blazing, echoing his Prizefighter appearance against Menay Edwards back in January 2011. The 26-year-old was self-critical of that plan back then as he felt he wasted too much energy.
But at the Camden Centre, Kings Cross, Smyth wobbled his Welsh opponent in the first round, and then in the second he boxed more intelligently, always looking for a heavy right whilst fending off some tasty-shots from Hughes.
It looked like it could be all over in the third, when Smyth floored his opponent with a great shot on the inside, but credit to Hughes, who battled on and took the fight into the final round.
But a nasty cut above Hughes’ eye, possibly caused by an accidental clash of heads, in the fourth saw Smyth emerge victorious.