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Page last updated at 10:55 GMT, Saturday, 21 June 2008 11:55 UK

Classy Pryce too good for Portman

By Nabil Hassan
National Indoor Arena, Birmingham

Bradley Pryce
Pryce has not lost a fight since Michael Jennings beat him in 2005

Bradley Pryce successfully defended his Commonwealth light-middleweight title after defeating Midlander Marcus Portman with a sixth-round stoppage.

Pryce dominated the early rounds, cutting his opponent in the fourth.

More punishment followed in the fifth and mid-way through the sixth with Welshman Pryce flooring Portman on the canvas with a thunderous left hook.

Portman got to his feet but referee Marcus McDonald called an end to the fight after a barrage of Pryce punches.

The 27-year-old successfully defended his Commonwealth title for the sixth time against the man from West Bromwich and will now look to step up in class and challenge at a higher level.

But Pryce revealed he was not entirely happy with his personal performance.

606: DEBATE

"The fight didn't go to plan. I started sluggishly but I could feel he was tiring," he said. "I knew if I caught him he would go and that's exactly what happened. "Now I want a world title shot."

Earlier, Liverpool's Paul Smith lost his English middleweight title, losing to Coventry's Steve Bendall on points.

Smith's younger brother Stephen made a successful switch to the pro ranks on the same bill, the 22-year-old featherweight winning his first fight with a third round knockout of Telford journeyman Shaun Walton.

Former league footballer Curtis Woodhouse was also victorious, winning his light-middleweight contest against Wayne Downing from West Bromwich inside 50 seconds.

That took Woodhouse's record since joining the professional boxing ranks to seven straight wins in less than two years.

The former Sheffield United, Birmingham City, Rotherham United, Peterborough United, Hull City and Grimsby Town midfielder made his professional debut in September 2006 with a win over Dean Marcantonio.

But his career as a boxer is still as an accompaniment to his football career.

The 28-year-old remains contracted to Rushden and Diamonds and turned out for them last season on a regular basis in the Blue Square Premier.

see also
Pryce relishing Calzaghe stable
20 Oct 06 |  Boxing
BBC Sport Wales coverage
07 Aug 07 |  Wales


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