It's not OK for Ojay as Starie wins

BOXING: A late change of opponent left Suffolk's super middleweight David Starie with an easier night's work than had originally been envisaged at Bethnal Green's York Hall, last night.

By Dave Allard


A LATE change of opponent left Suffolk's super middleweight David Starie with an easier night's work than had originally been envisaged at Bethnal Green's York Hall, last night.

The late substitute, Ojay Abrahams, did manage to provide a workout of sorts for the current British and Commonwealth Champion, something his previous three opponents, all blasted out of the opening round, had failed to do.

Starrie's proposed contest with 32-year-old American Southpaw Kippy Warren of Toledo, Ohio, was less than 24 hours away when news of his pull out due to medical problems reached the Bury man's camp and he was informed that Watford showman Abrahams, a veteran of over 65 fights, was to be his replacement.

Speaking before last night's contest, the chief support to the British and Commonwealth Heavyweight clash between the South Londoners Danny Williams and Keith Long, a still upbeat Starrie admitted that he was in a no win situation against Abrahams. "He has absolutely nothing to lose and will be anxious not to look bad in front of the TV cameras," he said.

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The Watford FC fanatic and self styled number one supporter, was first into the ring wearing his favourite club's shorts and with a Watford scarf tied around his shaven head whilst Starie's entrance in his now familiar silver Jedi trunks was a little more subdued.

The early action saw Starie jabbing his way in as Abrahams crouched low, before a fine overhand left from Starie, delivered with a wide grin, gave Abrahams a taste of things to come.

When the Watford man playfully mocked a double blow from Starie late in the round he was immediately sent to the canvas by a huge left hook.

Despite looking dazed Abrahams was back on his feet as referee Larry O'Connell reached a count of eight and it was Starie who was laughing as he returned to his corner.

By the midway point in the second Starie was beginning to toy with his opponent, standing back and picking his shots before dropping Abrahams again in his corner with a neat combination which left Abrahams again needing all of the referee's eight count to regain his composure.

Starie took his foot of the gas a little in the third which allowed Abrahams to unload a few shots of his own, the best of which was a big left hook, but as the round drew to a close Starie upped the pace again to leave Abrahams grimacing from a hard right upper cut and blowing hard as the bell sounded.

Starie did return to his corner with a very slight nick on his left cheekbone, possibly caused by a head, but by that stage he was controlling the contest to such a degree that a stoppage seemed just a matter of time.

The fourth round turned out to be the last, with Starie finding it hard to mess with a succession of left upper cuts, but Abrahams, to his credit, did manage to reply with a slamming left hook before finding himself against the ropes under pressure which was when referee O'Connell decided that he had seen enough and stepped in to call halt at two minutes 12 seconds.

The victory was Starie's 31st from 33 contests and he is now looking forward to a clash with another world championship shot before long.

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