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It was difficult watching Ted Cheeseman lose last Saturday night.

The Brit with the crooked nose and kindly smile had recently re-won the British junior welterweight title and, more importantly, reportedly has his gambling addiction, which was threatening to destroy him and his family, under control.

Cheeseman entered the ring Saturday night riding high, although his career always seems to be teetering on the edge of disaster.

Just a few years ago, Cheeseman’s life was in turmoil. Only 26, his gambling was killing him. His desire for boxing was waning. Undefeated in 15 fights, he dropped two out of three fights.

Last year he faced Sam Eggington. The fight was do-or-die for Cheeseman. He spoke of retiring if he lost. He didn’t.

The bout, as expected, like so many of Cheeseman’s fights, was a war. Eggington started well until Cheeseman buckled his legs in round two. Gassed in the final round, Cheeseman and Eggington went toe-to-toe until the bell rang.

Six months later, he recaptured the BBBofC British super welterweight belt with a stunning knockout of J.J. Metcalf. A left hook did the job. A bloody Cheeseman shed tears as he walked around the ring, his title belt draped over his shoulder.

Circle back to a few days ago. Cheeseman is fighting undefeated, but little-known, Troy Williamson. He entered the ring to a loud roar from his fans.

Thirty-five minutes later, the crowd sat on their hands, waiting anxiously.

The fight got off to a fast start.

Cheeseman landed shots to the body, while Williamson fired counter hooks. The firefight was on. Williamson poked Cheeseman with jabs in round two.

Biting down on his mouthguard, Cheeseman bobbed and weaved. He clipped Williamson with a combo and uppercut – and several jabs.

Williamson did better in round three. Cheeseman kept working but ate a solid combination to the chin. With three rounds in the books, there had been a total of one clinch. No dancing, just fighting. Hard fighting. Cheeseman connected with a sharp right in round four. Williamson responded with inside shots and more volume.

Cheeseman looked to rebound in round five. He connected with an uppercut and right. Williamson, just as determined, connected with jabs and hooks. He was sharpshooting effectively. Cheeseman cracked Williamson with a right, but a return uppercut wobbled him at the bell. A troubling sign.

In round six, Williamson came out throwing hard rights. Cheeseman made him reconsider with an uppercut and flush blows. Cheeseman, his face turning nasty, boxed more in round seven. He landed an uppercut and jab and moved away. Williamson popped inside hooks. Cheeseman unloaded combinations that seemed to bother Williamson.

In round eight, it was Williamson’s turn to box. Cheeseman walked after him – landing a left hook.

He worked up and down. Williamson dug punches to the body. A wicked exchange from both fighters produced more clean shots. Williamson came out punching in round nine as if sensing his opponent was tired.

A hard left hook connected. Cheeseman fired hooks to the ribs, but Williamson had rallied successfully. Early in round 10, Williamson forced Cheeseman to the ropes. Two right hands slammed home.

Williamson unloaded shot after shot until he let fly with a wicked left hook with all he had. The blow landed with a sickening thud. Cheeseman collapsed to the canvas, blood streaming from his mouth and nose.

Cheeseman was on the canvas and not moving. A hush had replaced the cheers. Only then did Williamson accept the cheers,

Finally, to the relief of everyone, he got up on shaky legs and immediately left the ring.

Without question, today at his day job, Ted Cheeseman is heartbroken. But he is alive and hopefully, after discussing it over with his wife, will exit the ring forever.

Source: John J. Raspanti

www.sports24ghana.com