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Morecambe boxer Owen Kirk battles to a draw in bruising six-rounder

Owen Kirk and Rhys Woods battled to a draw in Bolton. Image from VIP Boxing YouTube channel.

Morecambe middleweight Owen Kirk fought to his second consecutive draw in a gruelling contest in Bolton.

The man known as 'The Captain' had his work cut out against tough Stockport southpaw Rhys Woods in an ebb and flow battle at Whites Hotel on Saturday.

The Morecambe fighter, now with a professional record of three wins, one defeat and two draws, had promised a Fight of the Year contender.

But it was Woods who started the better, backing Kirk to the ropes regularly in Round One, although Owen did land a flush right hand towards the end of the three minutes.

'The Captain' began with greater authority in Round 2, landing a heavy left inside and another big right, but then strayed low, meaning his opponent needed a break to recover as the referee warned the Morecambe man. 

When the action resumed, Kirk was distressed after Woods landed lefts to the back of his head, the referee again having to issue warnings.

The fight then became a tear-up for the rest of Round 2, with Kirk scoring well with more crisp rights, until Woods got through with a terrific southpaw right hook of his own on the bell.

A Woods left hook at the start of Round 3 stung Kirk into retaliation, but his work was messy and he missed with the right hand, as the Stockport southpaw again backed him up into the corner with body shots and looked the stronger man.

The ref had a word with both fighters at the start of Round 4, and Owen responded, keeping his distance behind the jab and picking shots with greater accuracy in a quieter round. 

Round 5 was fought at close quarters again, with Kirk looking tired but still landing lefts inside and managing to smother much of his opponent's attacks. Woods though did land a superb straight left and seemed to hurt 'The Captain' with his follow-up, but Owen recovered and finished a close round on top.

The final round was fought at a frantic pace, with Kirk landing the better punches including a smart counter right off the ropes, but then Woods came firing straight back, landing a big left as Owen dropped his hands out of a clinch.

At the final bell, the commentators for promoters VIP Boxing believed Woods had done enough, but the draw looked a fair result.

Kirk's previous contest against Jake Bray in Doncaster in October 2022 was also a draw.

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