Boxing: Carl at his best on comeback trail

Leeds' former British super-featherweight champion Carl Johanneson continued his quest to regain his crown on Saturday night.

The 32-year-old from Harehills, who spent two years in the wilderness after losing his title in 2008, dominated South Shields' much taller George Watson on the way to an eight-round points win at the Doncaster Dome.

Now he's set to face Manchester's Anthony Crolla in Bolton next month and the winner is guaranteed a showdown with Dewsbury's reigning domestic champion Gary Sykes.

"We were aware that Crolla was in the crowd watching Carl on Saturday and we're sure he'll come with his A game next month," said trainer Martin Williams.

"I know people have made a lot of Carl's age but he's fit and has got 15 rounds in him if needed. The best version Carl, the one that beat Ricky Burns a few years back, is what I'm looking to send out on February 26."

Johanneson's performance at the weekend was the best since his comeback.

He was in command from the start and scored a knockdown in the seventh round.

Williams believes his man could have recorded the 20th stoppage of his career but felt it was more important to get rounds under his belt.

He said: "Because of Watson's height it was hard to get the leverage on his punches but I know if I'd told Carl to step it up and stop him, he could have done so.

"The main thing was to get the rounds in so he could get his sharpness back.

"The work rate and head movements were there, which we worked on and he didn't eat any uppercuts, which is often the drawback of Carl's style because he likes to take shots and prove he's the tougher guy."

Meanwhile, on the same bill Osmondthorpe's Josh Warrington took his unbeaten run to six fights by sweeping aside the challenge of Walsall journeyman Steve Gethin.

Warrington, 20, landed strings of body blows before switching his attacks to the head and was handed a clear points win after four rounds of the contest were completed.

"I don't think many have done a job on him like I did," declared Warrington.

"I picked my shots and caught him cleanly with some strong punches. He finished with his nose busted and he had a cut over his eye."

Lee Johnson

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