Vassell: Scrappy win
I could have used my jab a lot more but that will come with time
Denton Vassell Quotes of the week
Denton Vassell retained his Commonwealth welterweight title with a unanimous points verdict over Bethuel Ushona.
The Mancunian’s relentless workrate was enough to impress the judges in his first defence of the title he won when beating Lee Purdy 11 months ago.
His African opponent showed flashes of skill and had he carried a heavier punch the result may well have been different.
But in the end the previously unbeaten Ushona did nowhere near enough to threaten an upset in Wigan.
Vassell set the tone from the outset, intent on claiming the centre of the ring and imposing his will on the Namibian.
The Mancunian was looking to impress the judges with predictable combinations, forcing his opponent to fight at close quarters.
But the African was enjoying successes of his own, particularly with the long right hand, as he looked to capitalise on Vassell rushing in.
However, his lack of punching power meant the home favourite was able to maintain his role as the aggressor, with the judges probably having Vassell marginally ahead at halfway.
Ushona was always happy to unload from long range and could hardly miss with the straight right, and continued to show the more impressive hand speed.
But it was Vassell who came on strong in the final third of the fight, his superior strength finally appearing to take its toll on his opponent.
He clearly came out on top in the ninth round, catching Ushona with some debilitating shots to the body.
The predictable nature of the fight continued right through to the final bell, with Vassell pressurising throughout and clearly finishing on top in what was in truth a messy affair.
“He was one of the slippiest fighter’s I’ve ever fought,” he told Sky Sports after verdicts of 118-111, 117-113 and 117-112 in his favour.
“I hadn’t seen much of his fights, so I just stuck to the gameplan of keeping the pressure on and wearing him down.
“When we grabbed each other he really held on tight with made it very awkward.
“I could have used my jab a lot more but that will come with time”