Joe Elfidh’s title hopes wrecked by ‘vicious’ shot

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IT could have gone either way but Joe Elfidh will live to regret calling Kieran Farrell “a plastic Ricky Hatton”.

Harworth fighter Elfidh, aged 32, was downed in the fifth round by a vicious body shot, Ricky’s old signature punch, and failed to get up at Bolton’s De Vere Whites Hotel last Friday.

The previous four rounds had been close fought with Elfidh taking the first and having an argument for the other three in what was shaping up to be a classic encounter.

That was until the sickening blow ended the bout. Hometown fighter Farrell, who trains in Belfast but is promoted by Rotherham’s Dave Coldwell clinched the Central Area lightweight title with the win and also lines up a crack at the English belt.

“There was nothing in it,” said Elfidh’s manager Stefy Bull, who is also a promoter having retired from the sport almost two years ago.

“I had it two rounds each and the scores even but Joe blew himself out through trying too hard early on.”

Bull refused to be downhearted, adding: “It was a cracking fight for the paying public, though, and it’s a shame it didn’t last longer.”

Elfidh is set to keep taking on tough fights away from home. Jason Ball from Armthorpe, meanwhile, will face unbeaten Sheffield light-middleweight Sam Sheedy at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough Stadium on July 20.

The boxing community will pay their final respects to legendary Mexborough trainer Wilf Swindells tomorrow. The former trainer of amateur star Mark Epton and countless other boys and young men died last week of a brain tumour.

The service will be held at Rotherham crematorium from 11am and then perhaps fittingly, refreshments will be held at the Empess Ballroom in Mexborough, which is now used as a boxing gym.

Another amateur standout Luke Crowcroft, who also worked with Swindells, is all set to sign his professional contract on his eighteenth birthday on the same day.