Clarke Loses Title Defence
Birmingham's Lennox Clarke lost his British and Commonwealth Super Middleweight titles against a very focused Matt Heffron at the Copper Box arena London (16.07.22). Clarke (31) had won the British and Commonwealth titles in March of 2021 stopping the much-fancied Willy Hutchinson in the fifth round. Heffron (30) from Oldham was making his 3rd attempt at claiming a Lonsdale belt after being beaten twice for the Middleweight British title but had an impressive record of 27 wins one draw and just two defeats. Also, up for grabs on the night which was being aired live on BT sports by Queensberry promotions was the IBF inter-continental Super Middleweight title. Clarke weighed in 11 stone 13 with Heffron came in 11 stone 12 with Bob Williams reffing.
Good start by Heffron in the first as he rocked Clarke a number of times with Clarke doing well to weather the storm. Great response from Clarke in the second who let his hands go and got some big shots off. Back and fourth third and fourth rounds with Heffron coming on strong going to the body with some big shots. Heffron continued to bang in great shots in the fifth wobbling Clarke with a cracking left hook, Clarke backed up to the ropes and Heffron let some big shots off. Referee Bob Williams seemed to jump in a bit quick as Clarke covered up and took a lot of the shots on his gloves. As the ref jumped in Clarke reacted asking the ref why he had stopped the contest 2 minutes and twenty-eight seconds into the fifth and then pushed Heffron as he celebrated his victory.
This was a hard watch as in my opinion Clarke did not look his usual self and he was wobbled in the first round. Clarke did show his fighting spirit coming back strong in the second and taking it to Heffron banging in some big eye-catching shots to win the round. I thought the stoppage in the fifth round was a bit premature as this was a British title defense and Clarke should have been given every chance to get through that barrage of punches. Clarke can come again of that I’m sure, and with the BCB team behind him, I’m sure he will be back in title contention very soon.