By Liam Moakes 01/08 Updated: 01/08 09:49
BOXING fans enjoyed a fighting feast on Saturday when Redditch's own Jimmy Moran squared up to two-time world heavyweight champion Tim Witherspoon in an open air encounter.
The extravaganza at Redditch United's Valley Stadium home featured 11 other fights and additional entertainment including 'Fast and Furious' type cars, bouncy castles and fair rides, but the star attraction was the clash between American Witherspoon and 49-year-old Moran, who was entering the ring for the first time in 25 years.
Moran's last encounter had been his ABA heavyweight title victory over Henry Akinwande - who later became WBO world heavyweight champion - in 1987, but the 1986 Commonwealth light heavyweight gold medallist rolled back the years as he pushed Witherspoon all the way in the four-round contest.
The first round was fairly even as both boxers tested each other out but in the second round Witherspoon landed some mighty blows on Moran's jaw.
However, Batchley's Moran took them and carried on coming forward and the third round was Moran's best as he had Frank Bruno's conqueror of 1986 rocking back on his heels.
In fact, Witherspoon was glad to hear the bell for the end of the round as the 2,000-plus crowd roared on Moran in the hope of a knockout.
The fourth and final round was hard fought and in the end ex-WBC title holder Witherspoon was declared victorious on points.
The event was staged in conjunction with Redditch United and the Lakeside-based Viking Boxing & Fitness Club, whose owner and organiser Laurence O'Connor said: "Tickets for the event sold like hot cakes and it was an occasion to savour.
"The main fight was great and the other bouts provided plenty of entertainment too.
"Thanks to AG Cranes for sponsoring the event and providing the vests for boxers and ring girls to wear."
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