Boxing: I need to fight tougher opponents, says Lewis Benson

Lewis Benson, right, didn't get much of a fight against Radoslaw Mitev. Pic: Shabba Shafiq/SW33TSC13NCE
Lewis Benson, right, didn't get much of a fight against Radoslaw Mitev. Pic: Shabba Shafiq/SW33TSC13NCE
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Boxer Lewis Benson says he needs a much tougher opponent if he is to make an impression in the light welterweight division.

The 24-year-old registered his fourth consecutive victory in the paid ranks at Meadowbank on Saturday night, but admitted he felt underwhelmed by the manner in which he picked up the win.

Bulgarian Radoslav Mitev simply didn’t fancy the bout with the MGM fighter and retired after the end of the first round, indicating to the referee he had suffered a shoulder injury.

But, Benson, who was again spurred on by a raucous support, was left flat after an uninspiring three minutes in the ring.

“I knew I was going to win, but I need to do it properly,” he said. “He didn’t fancy it so I’ve no respect for him whatsoever. He was just an average amateur. It was a frustrating night as I was really looking forward to it. I need stepped up. I’m going to have a word with my promoter Sam [Kynoch] as I need to get a few rounds under my belt.”

Tommy Philbin was the most eye-catching boxer on MGM’s Rise of the Champions bill, the Edinburgh light heavyweight threatening to knock out Lincoln’s Mitch Mitchell on more than one occasion.

The 25-year-old twice dropped the Englishman to the canvas with an array of shots to both Mitchell’s head and body, his use of the uppercut proving the most effective as Philbin was awarded a comfortable 40-34 victory.

“It was my best performance to date so I’m very happy,” said Philbin, who moves to 3-0. “I’ve got another five fights scheduled for the rest of 2016 and then hopefully in for a title next year.”

Livingston’s Thomas Dickson was again impressive in his 40-36 triumph over showman Qasim Hussain from Sheffield.

Hussain has only three wins to his name from 55 bouts and was never going to make that four against the superior Dickson, 26.

He does, however, like to play the pantomime villain and was seen taunting Dickson throughout the four rounds.

“He was cheeky and I think he got about four tellings off from the referee for dropping the head,” lightweight Dickson said, “but I knew what he was like. He makes you want to beat him more so I’m delighted and we’ll go again in May.”

In the opening bout of the night, super middleweight Brian Forsyth picked up a much-needed points win over Andy Neylon after revealing he had considered withdrawing from the fight beforehand due to family problems.

After a laboured opening round, the 29-year-old found his rhythm in the minutes that followed and the impact of his body shots had the Hull fighter hanging on at the end.

Forsyth said: “It’s been difficult the last couple of weeks as my mind hasn’t really been it. I knew it was going to be a slow start but I picked it up and managed to drop him in the third round. I got the win at the end of the day and that’s all that really matters.”

Super featherweight Stephen Tiffney kept up his unblemished record with another points victory over Chris Adaway of Plymouth and John Thain made a successful return from injury as he comfortably saw off Bolton’s Chris Jenkinson 40-36 – the third time he has defeated the Englishman in his pro-career.

“Chris is a very tough fighter and I did feel a bit ring rusty,” Thain admitted. “But I started to enjoy it more as I got through the rounds. I’ve got such a good team supporting me.”