Norton Aims to Keep Belt

Local fighter Rob Norton is in title action tonight.

boxingStourbridge boxer Rob Norton is aiming to win a Lonsdale Belt outright at London’s York Hall tonight, when he defends his British cruiserweight title against the comparative novice Leon Williams.

The 27 year old Williams will be the local favourite, his Streatham home just a short distance away from the venue in Bethnal Green, but travelling has never been a problem for Norton, who has often been the away fighter during a career which is now in its 19th year.

This is a genuine clash of (comparative) youth versus experience – Wilde has had just 11 pro contests, winning eight and losing three, against Norton’s records of 32-4 with two draws. On paper it should be an easy night for southpaw Norton against a challenger who has rarely faced an opponent with a winning record. However Norton, 40 in January, has been inactive since boxing a draw with David Dolan when defending his title in January 2010. In contrast, Williams has had eight fights since then; in fact the Dolan fight remains the only action the champion has seen during the whole of his challenger’s professional career.

If he can shake off the ring rust successfully then Norton’s experience and awkward southpaw style should be enough to force a late stoppage in a one-sided contest against an opponent who has only once gone beyond six rounds.  However, the ring can age a fighter overnight and should the Stourbridge man be feeling the effects of his lay-off, 100/30 might start to look good odds for Williams to pull off an upset.

The fight can be seen live on Boxnation, Sky channel 456 from 6pm.