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McDermott and Salem sparkle at the Palace

PUBLISHED: 14:42 22 June 2007 | UPDATED: 14:34 07 September 2010

FORMER St Pancras amateur star John McDermott continued his comeback by stopping Swadlincote's Luke Simpkin in the second round of a scheduled heavyweight six-rounder at Crystal Palace on Friday night. The ex-ABA champion

By Patrick Mooney

FORMER St Pancras amateur star John McDermott continued his comeback by stopping Swadlincote's Luke Simpkin in the second round of a scheduled heavyweight six-rounder at Crystal Palace on Friday night.

The ex-ABA champion, who took a 13-month break following his first round defeat by Matt Skelton in a British title challenge in December 2005, floored Simpkin in the opener with a body shot.

Although Simkin survived it seemed that McDerrmott had found his opponent's Achilles heel and continued to score freely with his power-house jab.

In the second, McDermott's jabs were regularly on target and right hooks to the body and head were destructive.

The end came when some telling body work was followed up with a long right over the top.

Simkin hit the canvas but to his credit beat the count. However, the referee wisely pulled Simpkin out after two minutes.

McDermott, who had 46 pins inserted in his right ankle after breaking it against Nicolay Popov in 2003, is now hoping to meet Scott Gammer with the winner in line to challenge champion Danny Williams.

Meanwhile, former-Camden Kronk light-heavyweight prospect Tony Salem made it five wins out five with an impressive points victory over Battersea's Nick Okoth on the same Frank Maloney show.

Salem, who combines boxing with his studies at the University of East London, where he is studying sports science, easily outpointed Okoth 40-35 over four rounds.

In the opening round, Salem's fast hands got to work straight away with punches to the head, which limited Okoth's aggressive possibilities.

Okoth tried to score and off-loaded his share of shots in the second. However, Salem soon had his opponent on the floor but the Battersea fighter did well to stay in the fight.

Salem, the 2004 ABA champion, continued to jab Okoth with his southpaw right in the third. Carrying his right low, he whipped in hard hooks to the body.

The last round saw Okoth connect with a hard right hand and a couple of left hooks but Salem's confidence was not to be dented. He finished the fight whipping in stinging southpaw shots.

l Camden's British bantamweight champion Martin "Too Much" Power will defend his title for the third time on July 6 when he takes on Jason Booth at Wigan's Robin Park Arena.

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