Morby: I showed I’m no punch bag

Paul Morby, right. Picture: Gianluca di Caro
Paul Morby, right. Picture: Gianluca di Caro
Dave Birmingham. Picture: Neil Marshall

Birmingham wins Irish friends as he eyes future title

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Portsmouth survivor Paul Morby threw a huge spanner in the works of Olympic star Tony Jeffries’ career in their big-time showdown.

Now Morby is hoping his moment in the limelight will bring fight fans out to support the Portsmouth pro fight return next month.

Morby was well beaten by Sunderland contender Jeffries as they raised the curtain on the new boxing campaign in Doncaster on Saturday.

But the manner in which the 6-7-1 man performed asked serious questions of whether Jeffries can step up to the next level.

Morby, who took the fight at a week’s notice, continually made the night awkward for the Olympic bronze medallist.

Jeffries, though, deservedly took the points verdict over eight rounds, although Morby arguably deserved a round or two in the 80-72 decision.

But Morby is hoping his evening in the spotlight will pave the way for an outpouring of backing for Portsmouth boxing on October 15 when the sport returns to the city.

He said: ‘I went out in a fight taken at short notice trying to do Portsmouth proud.

‘I knew the score – I was a fighter picked as an opponent, who they thought would make him look good.

‘But that wasn’t the case and I stayed there with him.

‘I made it difficult for him. I made sure he wasn’t going to blow me out.

‘I tried my best to put on a good show and put on a performance.

‘I’ve been in with some good fighters and I think that showed on the night.

‘I’m no fool, I’m no mug and I’m not a punch bag. I think I showed that.

‘Hopefully a few people would have noticed me from that.

‘Now I want to come home and put on a performance in Portsmouth next month.

‘Portsmouth has some good fighters. I hoped I proved that.

‘I was boxing on a level where people notice you.

‘Hopefully now everyone will come out and get behind me and the area when we box at home next month.’

Morby’s performance hinted towards a future as an awkward journeyman as he mixed it with an unbeaten prospect in Jeffries.

His display gave him hope after a disappointing performance as he lost his Southern Area title to Daniel Cadman in May.

His opponent never came to terms with his southpaw stance, as he attempted to make an impression in their 12st 2lb match-up.

That led to a highly-touted talent looking ordinary, as he struggled to get any significant work off throughout the contest.

The Jeffries camp were in disarray in the wake of the battle as promoter Frank Maloney, respected trainer Tommy Brooks and Jeffries publicly exchanged heated words.

The result of the contest may never have been in doubt for Jeffries but the manner in which Morby made his opponent look ordinary, despite taking the contest at a few days’ notice, drew praise from the boxing fraternity.

Now the focus switches to his fight with Jason Ball on a bill packed with local talent in the city next month.

Now the focus switches to his fight with Jason Ball on a bill packed with local talent in the city next month.