Daws cannot finish off the Finn, but there's no denying him the win

Crunch: Daws lands a heavy left-hander to the face of the Finnish opponents Gary Brind

Daws the champion: Lenny Daws is the new EU light-welterweight champion Gary Brind

First published in Sport Croydon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Editor

Morden boxer Lenny Daws says his European Union light-welterweight title victory over Finland’s Ville Piispanen on Saturday was a perfect lesson in boxing.

The 33-year-old also described the performance as the best of his nine-year career, after the judges’ unanimous decision at the end of 12 rounds handed him the coveted belt.

“Lightning” Daws, who was born in Carshalton, is also a step closer to a shot at the European title, currently held by Russia’s Denis Shafikov, and Daws’ promoter Mick Hennessy says a meeting with Shafikov is a real possibility.

Prior to the bout, Daws boasted a record of 24 successes in 28 bouts, while Piispanen had won 16 of his 21 fights.

Daws said: “We stuck to tactics that we perfected in training, keeping it long and fast-paced. He [Piispanen] could not handle it and he got tired.

“But he was a strong kid and he kept coming and although I wobbled him a few times, I knew he wasn’t completely gone. He’s come over from Finland, so he hasn’t come over to lose – he gave it everything.

“I knew he was going to come at me in the last round because he had to stop me to win the fight, he was that far behind on points.

“I knew he was going to give a big onslaught but I kept it long and kept out of danger. I was happy with my performance. It was probably my best performance so far.”

He added: “I was in control of it from start to finish. He couldn’t get near me and I threw in the combinations and got away again. Because he was so short he had to get close into me and when he did, I threw some shots and got him. It was a nice boxing lesson.”

The judges scored 116-112, 118-110 and 117-112 in Daws’s favour although the Morden man thought the gap should have been bigger.

He said: “I assumed I was winning with a clear margin but the points were not as clear cut as we thought, we thought I’d won every round but one judge had me winning by eight points, one by five and one by four.

“It is amazing to know what the judges are looking at sometimes.”

Whether Daws goes for a shot at the European title, he does not yet know. But he is happy to face whatever Hennessy comes up with.

“I’m not sure what is next – a defence or a shot at the European title. There is talk of a British title shot but that wouldn’t be until December and it would also be a step backwards," he said.

“We’ll just have to see what Mick [Hennessy] can sort out with the other promoters, but I am ready for anything. If it’s a shot at a European title which would open the door for a shot at a world title.”

Hennessy said: ""Before Lenny went into this fight he was number two in European Boxing Union rankings but this victory should now make him number one.

"He is very close to a European title fight which has been my dream for Lenny. He can be European champion then we'll see where we can go from there because I know he can."

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