ROBBIE Turley felt “like a world champion” after producing the performance of his life to capture the vacant Commonwealth super-bantamweight strap in Newport.
A ninth-round defeat of former belt holder Bobby Jenkinson gave Cefn Fforest’s Turley his first major domestic title on an emotional night for the St Joseph’s fighter.
The British Boxing Board of Control withdrew Turley’s licence in 2012 because of concerns over the results of a routine brain scan.
Neurosurgeons said there was no risk to his health and the governing body eventually gave Turley, who was out of action for two years, the go ahead to resume his career.
And when his big chance came at the Newport Centre on Friday night he duly took it with both hands.
Lincoln’s Jenkinson may have taken the opening round but it was all Turley from that point on, as he did away with his usual defensive style to leave his opponent bloodied and bruised.
Jenkinson was on the canvas in the second and really up against it during the sixth.
It looked as if Turley, 30, would end it there but Jenkinson stood his ground and it wasn’t until the ninth that the Englishman succumbed.
He landed a nice right hand before the Welshman responded with a right over the top and then a crunching body shot that Jenkinson couldn’t recover from.
Jenkinson’s corner, sensing that the end was nigh, threw in the towel as their man rose to his feet.
Turley’s supporters, including a number of his St Joes stablemates, went wild, as did his corner of Tony Borg, Billy Reynolds, Junior Borg and Chris Sanigar.
Turley’s son Jacob joined his dad in the ring for the presentation of the belt, and the new champion was over the moon when speaking after his triumph.
“I feel like a world champion, it’s a dream come true,” he said.
“I had my debut at the Newport Centre 10 years ago and was then told I wasn’t allowed to box again, which broke my heart.
“But all the fighting, dedication and money spent to get my licence back was worth it.
“I’ve won a major title and I’m the happiest man in the world.
“If I had lost I wasn’t going to fight again, but I did it and now I want to make something of it.
“I was saying to my family that I needed something like this for my pride.”
Also at the Sanigar Events show, St Joes’ Morgan Jones made it 10 straight wins in as many outings in the pro ranks.
On this occasion he stopped York’s Harry Matthews in the sixth of their eight-round super-middleweight contest.
And hometown favourite Dan Barton made it three wins for St Joes on the night, scoring a second-round stoppage of Jacob Lucas at super-middle on his professional debut.
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