Broken rib doesn't stop impressive Shinkwin from securing Southern Area title (From Watford Observer)
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Broken rib doesn't stop Miles Shinkwin from securing the Southern Area light heavyweight title with a points win over Joel McIntyre
Sore was Miles Shinkwin's initial response when he was asked on Monday how he felt about winning the Southern Area title at the weekend.
It was hardly surprising considering Shinkwin suffered a broken rib in the second round of his hugely entertaining bout with Portsmouth's Joel McIntyre for the vacant light heavyweight strap.
The Bushey boxer believes the injury did impact on his performance as the fight progressed but it didn't stop the 26-year-old from securing a deserved 97-95 points victory at a sold-out York Hall in Bethnal Green on Saturday night.
Asked how he was feeling on Monday afternoon, Shinkwin, who also endured a bad cut above the right eye in round eight following a clash of heads, simply replied: "Sore". He went on to add: "My overriding feeling two days later is extreme pain.
"I got my eye stitched straight away after the fight in the back room and I was laid on the bed when my dad came in and slapped me on the stomach; it felt like I had been stabbed."
"But it was a great feeling immediately afterwards," Shinkwin said. "I did look round when they said 'and in the red corner, the new Southern Area champion' because for a moment I thought I was in the blue corner and thought I had been done. So the main feeling when they announced it was relief, although I did think I won it comfortably."
He continued: "People have said to me that I showed a lot of heart considering my broken rib and without taking anything away from him, I think I might have got him out of there in the end if I didn't have the broken rib."
Shinkwin showed all the traits you want from a boxer in a sweltering York Hall. His superb boxing skills were on display in the early rounds, he proved he had a strong heart after suffering the early injury, had the fitness to last ten rounds - having only fought for six in the past - and also showed he has a strong chin after taking some heavy shots in the dying moments of the fight.
Shinkwin said he had to be pleased with his display considering the rib and eye injuries, and with the heat, but he was also critical when assessing his performance.
He said: "I feel I let myself down a bit in the last round. We went into it saying don't let him think he is getting on top and I did. The punches late on looked like they hurt but they didn't, it was more that I was exhausted. I feel I left an impression the fight was closer than it was."
It was an excellent fight and there were several rounds which were very close to call. It was a contest where the scorecard may have been different depending on whether you favoured aggression or boxing skills.
But I had Shinkwin winning relatively comfortably at 97-94, with the eighth round drawn, and referee Jeff Hinds scored it 97-95.
McIntyre came out throwing shots from the opening bell but Shinkwin quickly showed his ability to counter and was also quicker with the jab.
Shinkwin's hands-down style means he relies on his reaction time and footwork defensively and it served him well as he also took the second round.
The third was closer as neither man landed much of significance but Shinkwin again re-established his control with the jab and slick counter punching in the fourth.
Shinkwin looked comfortable when fighting at distance and I had him winning the first four rounds.
But McIntyre was constantly coming forward and may have nicked the fifth and sixth as Shinkwin slowed slightly, although they were again close rounds which could have gone to either man.
Shinkwin was superb in the seventh. His jab, counter-punching and excellent footwork returned as he dominated during those three minutes.
I had Shinkwin three rounds ahead heading into the final trio of stanzas but early into the eighth an accidental clash of heads resulted in the Bushey man suffering a bad cut above his right eye which needed looking at by the in-house doctor.
I couldn't separate the two fighters in the eighth and the ninth was also close but I gave the latter to Shinkwin due to his impressive defensive work.
So, four rounds behind, I had McIntyre needing a knock-out heading into the final three minutes, although a few of the sessions were close enough that there was a slim chance the judges could have had McIntyre ahead.
And in the final 20 seconds McIntyre caught Shinkwin with a powerful right and then another which had the former Queens School pupil looking to grab. His opponent landed another two right hands late on but Shinkwin took the shots well.
Both men were celebrating after the final bell as the hugely entertaining bout ended with those inside York Hall applauding on their feet.
Shinkwin said he believed he was 6-3 ahead on rounds, with one drawn, immediately after the contest and after watching it again had it 7-3. But he accepted there were a few rounds which were close.
He celebrated the win with a couple of pints at a nearby pub but admitted he struggled to sleep that night due to the rib injury.
The cut above his eye is expected to take a couple of months to heal but Shinkwin was already planning to have time off with his wedding in six weeks time.
He still plans to run regularly "to make sure I fit into my wedding suit", as he starts married life as the Southern Area champion.
"I was pleased we were able to deliver on the night," Shinkwin concluded. "We entertained the fans and that is what boxing is about."