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Friday, 3 November, 2000, 23:15 GMT
Robinson edged out
Steve Robinson
Steve Robinson lost a majority decision against Baloyi
Steve Robinson has failed in his bid to defeat World Boxing Union featherweight champion Cassius Baloyi at the Ebbw Vale Leisure Centre.

The Welshman floored the unbeaten South African in the second round but subsequently allowed him to regain control and take a majority decision 115-112, 114-113 and 114-114.

Robinson started well with his trademark body attack and took the fight to a man with 25 straight wins.

Baloyi, whose last two defences had ended in the first round, stepped up the pace towards the end of the opener, but it was a promising start for the challenger.

And the Welsh fans were raising the roof early in the second when Robinson produced a cracking left hook to the chin which dropped Cassius on the seat of his pants in a neutral corner.

"I'd love a re-match if he'd give me one
  Steve Robinson

He looked surprised rather than hurt, but Robinson kept up the pressure, pinning him on the ropes and working downstairs.

A less eventful third saw Baloyi regroup and he enjoyed more success in the fourth with his upper cuts, though most merely cannoned off the Cardiff man's high guard.

Baloyi's fast hands brought him some success in the next session, Robinson looking a little frustrated as he found himself, for the first time, kept at long range.

By the seventh, Baloyi was in command, boxing beautifully behind the left jab and holding his own when the Welshman, cheered on by his country's World Cup rugby league squad, managed to get inside.

Desperate assaults

The champion's control had silenced the local support, with Robinson's increasingly desperate assaults being coolly dealt with by the impressive visitor.

Baloyi, urged on by his trainer, former champion Brian Mitchell who once defeated Britain's Jim McDonnell, increased the pace again but the challenger's strength and fitness was keeping him in the fight.

It was Cassius who began to blow as Steve, belying his 31 years, began pounding away to the stomach, taking the 10th round and a remorseless onslaught to close the 11th left the contest on a knife edge.

Both men realised this and battled toe-to-toe throughout the final session, but it was Baloyi who was able to celebrate at the end of a tremendous contest.

After the fight Robinson said: "That left hook came from nowhere - it was a wicked punch.

"But I didn't follow up like I should have.

"He came back well after the knockdown and took the middle round, but I finished strongly and thought I'd done enough to take it.

"I think I've proved I've got plenty left.

"I'd love a re-match if he'd give me one.

"Or there's the British title. I've always fancied a Lonsdale Belt and I've never had the chance to fight for one."

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