Express & Star

Gould beaten for the first time as his title chance slips away

Coseley's Liam Gould had his unbeaten record and Midlands Area welterweight title opportunity ripped from him in dramatic fashion at BCB Promotions' Collision Course show.


He succumbed to a devastating first-round stoppage at Eastside Rooms in Birmingham as opponent Ben Vaughan showed why so many think he has all the tools to compete at the British level.

Contesting for the belt, which was vacated by James Scarrott back in February, both men looked in excellent condition as the fight got off to a quick start, with Gould looking to work to the body and match the relentless pace that Vaughan sets.

But 24-year-old Vaughan, from Northampton, unloaded a vicious right hand from his southpaw stance, which sent Gould crashing to the canvas.

And though Gould bravely made it to his feet at the count of eight, he was on very shaky legs, and referee Chris Dean rightfully waved the fight off.

Gould was given oxygen immediately after by the ringside paramedics, but left the ring healthy and can now rebuild and return.

Earlier in the night, highly-touted Ben Collins picked up win number two with a crowd-pleasing performance against Pavol Garaj.

The 19-year-old from Stourbridge has recently signed with promotional powerhouse Queensbury, and the former top amateur showed why Frank Warren wanted his signature.

The light-heavyweight talent showed patience and maturity against a boxer who has only been stopped once in 56 previous contests. Collins worked well behind his long jab and kept things simple with some tidy two and three-punch combinations.

After overcoming a bad cold in the lead up, it was no surprise to see him fade a little towards the end, and Garaj took the last round, with referee Ryan Churchill scoring it 39-37 to Collins.

After the fight, Stourbridge MP Suzanne Webb entered the ring to pose for photographs with Ben, who has been working tirelessly on anti-knife campaigns, a project that is gaining more attention and support.

Tipton’s Conor Baker made it three wins from three with another solid showing against veteran Naeem Ali over four rounds.

The 27-year-old super-lightweight prospect started quickly and kept up a decent pace against the wily Ali, working behind his jab and landing some crisp right hands.

Baker was holding the centre of the ring and forcing Ali to tuck up against the ropes for the majority of the first three rounds.

The fourth saw Ali start to engage more and land the occasional blow as Baker began to tyre against his heavier opponent.

Referee Churchill gave Baker the win 39-37 – his first loss of a round in three fights, but another impressive performance.

Elsewhere on the card, Hereford's Gyvon won the Midlands Area light heavyweight title from Northampton's Michael Stephenson on points and Birmingham's Nico Ogbeide got back to winning ways against experienced Lithuanian fighter Simas Volosinas.