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Cameron Takes Itaba Out In One Round And Reflects On ‘Whirlwind’ Eight Months

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Liam Cameron, having his third comeback fight after a four-year suspension for cocaine, kept his boxing dreams alive with a first-round victory over Tanzanian Hussein Itaba at light heavyweight.

Sheffield’s Cameron, aged 33, improved to 23-5 (10 KOs) and landed a solid right hand in the opening exchanges that caused Itaba’s legs to dip and moments later he broke through with several short left and right hooks with Itaba all at sea. Cameron tried to get the job done quickly and he crashed over another right hand. Itaba attempted to hold to stem the attacks coming his way but he was downed again from a left to the body and a left hook over the top and the fight was waved off. 

The time of the stoppage at the Sheffield Arena was 2:32. Itaba is now 16-9-3 (11 KOs). 

“What a whirlwind this has been,” said Cameron “Eight months ago I was sitting on the sofa as fat as a pig, I was an alcoholic; now I’ve stopped drinking for 15 months and I’m on my third fight. If I can do it, everyone can do it. This is for anyone who’s struggling out there. You can come back. It’s not over until it’s over.”

Cameron-Itaba was the final preliminary bout ahead of the super lightweight clash between Jose Zepeda and Dalton Smith.

Leli Buttigieg, a four-time national champion who carries the nickname of “The Maltese Monster”, looks to be a class act. The Newham middleweight prospect dictated terms all the way against Poland’s Bartlomiej Stryczek and, in the third round, he decked Stryczek with a wonderful long one-two.

The imposing Buttigieg mixed up his attacks well and the referee could have been forgiven for stopping it in the third.

Buttigieg patiently took his time in the fourth but the now 2-3 Pole was badly cut by the left eye in the fifth and a more compassionate corner would have saved him from having to soak up a one-sided loss. 

Stryczek was hurt with two minutes to go in the third but showed heart and courage in bundles, bleeding from the nose, bleeding from the eye, taking heavy shots to the head and body and only having limited success.

The skilful Buttigieg is now 3-0 (1 KO), having won by 60-53 for the referee John Latham.

Doncaster middleweight Connan Murray, 8-0 (1 KO) opened the show with a 60-54 decision over the always awkward Irish-based Slovakian Edgar Kemsky, 3-7-1 (1 KO).

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