Belper boxer Gary Beardsley wins vacant title

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Belper boxing hero Gary Beardsley raced to the EBF Midlands Area light-heavyweight title in Derby.

Shane Sloman was forced out of their big local derby at Rollerworld and Beardsley instead blew away Cavan Hughes inside a round for the vacant belt.

Beardsley now hopes to make his first defence against Sloman, possibly in May.

Sloman was at ringside at Rollerworld to watch Beardsley capture the belt and offered his congratulations in the ring afterwards.

Fighting to raise money for the Dylan’s Dream charity, Beardsley settled quickly behind a stiff jab and went on to drop Hughes twice before the referee waved the fight off.

Beardsley said: “I trained really, really hard and when I got in the ring I felt really strong and fresh.

“I got the jab going, cut the ring off and overpowered him.”

Beardsley says that at 47 years old, he’s had to make changes to the all-action fighting that made him a fans’ favourite a couple of decades ago.

He said: “I used to go in there to get stuck in and have a war, but I box a bit smarter these days.

“I use my brains and try to get my opponents to make mistakes that I can capitalise on.”

Beardsley afterwards handed over £500 to Ashley Jones, who set up ‘Dylan’s Dream’ for her son Dylan, who has a muscle wasting disease.