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Tuesday, 28 January, 2003, 22:37 GMT
Wilders claims European title
British boxer Noel Wilders took the vacant European bantamweight title with a convincing points victory over Frenchman Fabien Guillerme in Nice.

Fighting for only the second time in 17 months, former British and IBO champion Wilders dominated the 12-round contest to win by a unanimous verdict.

The unbeaten Castleford fighter displayed quick hands and feet to frustrate Guillerme and edge most rounds of a routine contest in his opponent's home town.

Wilders and Guillerme both suffered cuts after accidental clashes of heads in the seventh and ninth rounds respectively.

But the 29-year-old Briton was not to be denied, even though at 7-5, 8-4 and 8-4, the judges scored the rounds closer than anticipated.

"I'm a bit tired - it's been a long time since I've been in the ring for 12 rounds," said Wilders.

"He was a rugged fighter. He never really came at me in the first half but did in the second.

"I wanted to make him miss and pick him off at will and that's what I did.

"I'll now spend time and weigh up my options but I felt good."

The win was the 23rd of Wilders' career but will be very welcome as it follows a period on the sidelines after confusion over a routine brain scan which saw him stripped of his titles.


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