IT was far from fight of the century, but Daniel Wells ultimately proved the better boxer on the night as he got the nod over Jason Ranford from the judges with a 30 points to 27 victory.
Billed as a Brunel Rooms showdown, given Ranford’s past ties with the nightclub and the acrimonious departure of Wells’s friend Nathan Hatter, there were more than 300 people packed into the MECA for the white collar scrap on Saturday night.
As the announcer made his bow for the evening the audience built into a frenzy and unleashed a chorus of cheers for Wells, fighting from the blue corner.
In equal measure, the volley of boos which met Ranford as he entered the ring, backed by Madness hit One Step Beyond, was deafening and almost drew sympathy from some quarters.
Adrenaline got the better of both fighters in the opening seconds of each round, and it was no surprise to see the pair slow as the seconds drew on.
Ranford was the only man to hit the deck, falling in the second round, though Wells accepts his opponent almost certainly tripped.
The crowd played its part as the fight took on a pantomime atmosphere – every blow which knocked Ranford back was backed by loud approval, and every moment he took to catch his breath berated.
By the closing 30 seconds of the third round both fighters were utterly spent, neither barely able to lift their arms and defend their heads, as pot shots came from both sides.
When the final bell rang out, each corner, in true boxing tradition, lifted their arms and declared their fighter the winner.
The announcer held the true answer and as he stepped in with the scorecards, it looked as if the blue corner had been given the nod, lifting Wells’s arm in the process.
When the decision was read out, indicating a 10-9 advantage to Wells in each round, the crowd showed its satisfaction. The majority got the result they wanted.
After the fight, backstage security said Ranford had a car waiting, and made a swift exit from the town centre venue.
Wells, however, did spare a few moments for the Adver: “It was harder than I thought it would be. He was a tougher fighter than I thought too.
“Before the fight I was calm walking in, despite the noise. As soon as the bell went, all the training went out the window though.
“I tried to outbox him, like I was told, and I think I managed that. I did catch him with one punch as he fell, but I think he tripped over me to be honest.
“I am happy I won. I got what I needed to out of the fight. As far as I am concerned, what we had in the past is over now.
“We have cleared the air; hopefully he feels the same way about it.”
Wells thanked his team – Nick Tuckett, Paul Rogers and Steve Cooney too.