Defeat for Walker on Channel Five
Former Welterweight Midlands area champ Conah Walker was on the wrong end of a slick performance by Manchester’s Kane Gardener (24/03/23). The contest was scheduled for eight rounds in the super-lightweight division, aired live on channel five from the Bolton Whites Hotel Bolton, and was a VIP promotion.
Walker (27) had good backing for this contest with a lot of his supporters making the journey up the Bolton to cheer him on. Walker’s record before this contest was eleven wins and one draw out of 13 fights. Gardener (27) had won 15 fights out of seventeen fights with one of his defeats coming against the ‘The 0-Taker’ Ben Fields early in his career. Walker was the aggressor for the first four rounds and held the center of the ring and put lots of pressure on Gardener to get some good combinations in. Gardener was moving well and was countering off the ropes and making Walker miss with the first four rounds being very close with Walker sustaining a cut from a clash of heads in the third round. In the fifth Gardener seemed to take control keeping the fight at range with great movement and getting nice long shots off. Walker continued to press and pressure in the sixth round but his pace had slowed, Gardener continued to fight well on the back foot with Walker looking like he was looking for one big shot. Gardener’s jab was the key at the start of the seventh as he shot out great jabs and straight shots, Walker who had put relentless pressure on him got on the inside well in the second part of the round just edging it. Gardner tried to keep it long and Walker continued to press in the final round as both fighters emptied the tanks and left everything in the ring, even round could not split them.
The scoring referee score it 78 to 76 for Gardener I had it 78 to 75 for Gardener.
Walker put on a good performance for his big support that had come to see him, but Gardener showed some slick backfoot boxing with great movement to win the fight. I think Walker had the right plan moving forward and putting pressure on Gardener as this had worked for Ben Fields when he beat him. But Gardener has vastly improved from then and it was his movement and shot-picking that won him this fight. Don’t get it wrong Walker had his moments in every round where you thought the fight may change but Gardener stuck to his game plan and got the victory. I’m sure Walker will watch this fight back keep the things that went well and rectify the thing that didn’t and come back stronger. I look forward to seeing Conah in the ring very soon.