Couzens goes down fighting in Germany

Sam Couzens
Sam Couzens
Dave Birmingham. Picture: Neil Marshall

Birmingham wins Irish friends as he eyes future title

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Sam Couzens earned honour in defeat as he went down fighting in Germany.

Couzens was stopped in four rounds by fringe world title contender Dustin Dirks in Offenburg on Saturday night.

But there was no shame in the stoppage for the British Masters champion, as he gave a decent account of himself against his 23-0 opponent.

Titchfield light-heavyweight Couzens was cheered from the ring by the home crowd after refusing to take a backward step against an opponent who possesses concussive power.

Couzens took the fight to Dirks, who is ranked in the WBO’s top 10, from the outset and traded evenly with him early on.

Dirks’ extra power and accuracy eventually took over and the end came in the fourth when a huge right landed on the mark.

Couzens bravely got to his feet but a further onslaught brought the entertaining battle to a close.

The 25-year-old could take heart from the performance he put on, though, a fact that was underlined by the way he was received by the home crowd in enemy territory.

And Couzens’ confidence can remain in place from his British Masters success over Steffen Hughes in November.

His trainer, Jack Bishop, insisted Couzens could take heart from his effort and will look to press forward quickly.

Bishop said: ‘Sam did well and gave a good account of himself.

‘He was in two good, hard rounds at the start of the contest and made a good impression.

‘But he then started to bleed quite heavily from the nose.

‘The ref had seen enough by the fourth round, but he was applauded all the way out of the ring.

‘They like his style out there and Sam is definitely a big-time fighter.

‘So it will be back to the drawing board for Sam and he will be back in the gym on Wednesday.

‘Sam always wants to fight and I’m sure there will be a lot of offers for him.’

Meanwhile, big-time boxing is set for a return to Portsmouth.

A whopping 16-fight card will take place at the Mountbatten Centre on Saturday, March 17.

A host of the area’s professionals will all be in action including Mark Coombs, Floyd Moore, Joel McIntyre, Paul Morby and Liam Griffiths.

They will be joined by Ben Kneller and Ryan Moore, who are both set to make their pro bows on the show.

Tony Hill, who was earmarked for British middleweight title honours. is also set to appear, along with Bordon’s 10-1 Wayne Goddard.

One of the most exciting prospects of the show is the appearance of Nigerian King Davidson.

The 13-1 powerhouse now lives in Southampton after moving from Australia, where he was being guided towards world title honours.

Alex Gibbons, Jonathan Fry, Matty Tew, Darryl Still and Richard Smart are others lined up to appear.