Coombs delivers knockout blow to land title

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Conor Chaplin's 94th-minute winner earned Pompey three hard-earned points from their visit to Stadium MK Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey fans keen to see more of Chaplin

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Mark Coombs enjoyed the perfect night as he stopped Samet Hyuseinov to land the International Masters title.

The light-middleweight, nicknamed Kid Kurylak, shone at Southsea’s Pyramids Centre in front of a raucous home crowd.

He achieved his ambition to drop his rival and silenced any doubts about his punching power.

It was a massive boost for Coombs, 27, who took his record to 10-0 on a night of success for home fighters.

Floyd Moore, Garry Neale and Andy Gatenby also recorded victories.

But it was Coombs who finished the show in style, crushing stocky Bulgarian Hyuseinov, who had come in to the fight with a 3-1 professional record, in the seventh of 10 rounds.

‘Everything went exactly to plan,’ said Coombs.

‘I’ve been working a lot on my strength. It paid off massively and I feel really good.

‘My goal was 100 per cent to get a stoppage.

‘We could sense he was gone in the fifth round.

‘He was a good kid and had clearly come to win the fight.

‘But with my body shots I took his breath away and I took his heart away.

‘I dropped him in the fifth round and then went for the kill but the round ended.

‘At that point I was a bit tired, so I went back to the jab in the sixth.

‘In the seventh round, I sensed it was time to go for it and it was a left hook to the body that got him – I think that is becoming my trademark shot!’

Coombs feels winning the title is a big vindication of the effort and hard work he has put in.

He’s determined to use it as a springboard to achieve more success – even if that means not keeping the belt for long.

Coombs said: ‘It was a great feeling getting the belt.

‘I had to give it back on the night, otherwise I would probably have slept with it next to me.

‘It was good having it for the walk from the ring to the changing rooms, though.

‘Everyone wanted a picture of me with the belt.

‘It’s been a hard road – 17 years of graft.

‘Five years ago, as an amateur, I lost 10 fights on the trot and I was ready to call it quits.

‘But I’ve come a long way since then. I’ve turned pro and now got my first title.

‘I felt brilliant in the ring. Now I am raring to go again.

‘Hopefully I will have another fight in August or September.

‘I might look to vacate this title and fight for bigger things.

‘First I am going to have a few weeks off, though, to spend some time with my family.’

Coombs paid tribute to fight fans at the Pyramids and his Ballys Gym stable-mates.

He added: ‘My team-mates pretty much jumped into the ring when I landed the winning punch.

‘The atmosphere was superb. I could hear the singing. They really inspired me.

‘I have to thank my sponsors PJM Electrics, Simply Finance, Roko and – and give a massive thank you to my trainers Michael Ballingal and James Lee.

‘They made it all possible.’