Ochieng fails to take British title after defeat in Liverpool

Stoke Newington boxer Erick ‘The Eagle’ Ochieng narrowly missed out on the British light-middleweight crown after being outpointed by Liam Smith at the Olympia Arena in Liverpool.

The unanimous decision of 116-113, 117-112 and 117-112 was only the second career defeat for the three time English light-middleweight champion, who looked on course for the title in the opening exchanges of the 12-round encounter.

The 26-year-old started well and caught Smith with jabs, hooks and some strong uppercuts, as Smith’s aggressive tactics left him exposed to Ochieng’s head and body shots.

Ochieng appeared to be in control of the contest, as he boxed off the ropes, but Smith’s left jab increasingly helped the Liverpool man turn the tie in his favour and edge him towards victory in front of his home supporters.

“We are disappointed with the result,” said Ochieng’s manager and trainer Brian Lawrence.

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“But I have no problem with the decision, only that I thought it was closer than two of the judges’ scorecards.

“We will regroup and Erick will come back stronger,” he added, ahead of Ochieng’s next fight in December against an as yet unnamed opponent.

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