Ashley Theophane, the Brit who is living in Brooklyn and getting some Stateside seasoning, got a W on Saturday. It didn't come easy for our No. 12 NYC P4Per, but the 31-4-1 fighter scored a TKO11 win over Ben Murphy at the Peterlee Leisure Center, in Peterlee, Tyne and Wear, England. He retained his British junior welter crown.
Murphy (8-5-1) wasn't seen as world class when he got the fight three days before fightnight, after original foe Nigel Wright (24-6-1) had to pull out because a brain scan showed an irregularity. But he made the world class Theo sweat enroute to the victory. We asked Theo for his take on the bout, which wasn't offered in the US onscreen:
"They were opposite styles. Wright is a stand off southpaw boxer and Ben is an orthodox brawler with little style. They are total opposites. My plan was to let Ben burn his self out and take over. The plan worked and I won in the end. I was happy with my performance. My defence was excellent and I picked him of as the rounds went by. I showed I am a world class operator," he said, via Twitter message.
So, what's next for the BritYorker?
"Hatton Promotions will decide what is next but Lamont Peterson, Erik Morales and Tim Bradley are the fights I want," he said.
I also asked who he had winning in the controversial Khan-Peterson fight on Saturday in DC. "I thought that Khan v Peterson was close but I had Peterson winning. He fought to his strengths and Khan looked uncomfortable at times," Theo said.
Boxing is a funny sport in that a fight you fought a year or more ago can make you look a heck of a lot better many moons after it occurred. Cases in point..Theophane dropped a close decision to Danny Garcia in February 2010, and also beat Delvin Rodriguez in July 2010. Garcia is coming off a superb win over tough vet Kendall Holt in October, while Rodriguez mightily impressed watchers in his Dec. 3 rematch victory over Pawel Wolak. In retrospect, those outings seen in the far rear-view mirror elevate Theophane that much more.