Archway fighter feels title success at York Hall is worth the wait

Tony Milch (right) in action against Konstantin Alexandrov at York Hall. Pic: Philip Sharkey/TGS Pho

Tony Milch (right) in action against Konstantin Alexandrov at York Hall. Pic: Philip Sharkey/TGS Photo - Credit: Archant

Tony Milch says he felt calmer than ever on Saturday despite waiting until midnight to confirm his first professional title.

The Archway light-middleweight, who fought Konstantin Alexandrov for the International Challenge belt, was shunted to the end of the Dove Box Promotions bill at York Hall.

It was almost 11.30pm when Milch finally entered the ring – and, during the opening round, a live interview with the winner of the previous fight, Southern Area heavyweight champion Dominic Akinlade, could be heard on speakers around the hall.

Despite that distraction, Milch – whose original title fight was postponed following a murder outside York Hall the previous weekend – went on to seal a comfortable points victory.

“It was boiling hot in there, so there was no need for a warm-up!” the 35-year-old told the Gazette. “When we finally came out I was really relaxed and looking forward to it.

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“That was the main thing for me – I felt more comfortable than in any of my other fights. I used to be tense, but now I’m relaxed in there.

“There were so many distractions, with the fight getting cancelled and two weigh-ins – that when it came to fight night it was only the performance that mattered. The team around me were great and nothing was going to stop me from winning the title.”

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Milch – who had won all 10 of his previous professional fights – needed all his patience against a gritty opponent making little attempt to open up throughout the eight-round contest.

The Londoner used his jab well and displayed good movement without penetrating Alexandrov’s defence too often during the first half of the fight.

But in the fifth and sixth rounds Milch began to trouble the Bulgarian, firing a series of powerful left-hand punches to the body and finishing with a strong final round.

The outcome was never in question and referee Rees Carter duly scored the contest 80-73 in favour of Milch – who now has his sights set on bigger prizes later in the year.

“Everything went to plan – my left hand was firing sharp, my footwork was good and I didn’t allow him to open up even if he wanted to,” Milch added.

“I wanted that kind of performance against a guy who rarely gets stopped and I thought I hurt him with a couple of shots, but getting the win was more important.

“It’s not a world title but, because of the duration of the fight and the variety of shots I threw, I showed that I’m championship class and I can do longer.

“Four-rounders are not my game. Next year we’ll be looking at 10-round fights – a Southern Area or English title, maybe even in the autumn.”

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