Crawley boxer Verbeeten celebrates third professional win at the famous York Hall

Crawley boxer James Verbeeten celebrated his third professional win at the famous York Hall.

The light-welterweight from Maidenbower beat experienced 88-bout campaigner Liam Richards over four rounds in Bethnal Green.

It was his first fight in over two years and drew praise from head coach Paul Devlin, who said: “James boxed very well considering the times he’s been out.

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“He boxed well within himself but to instructions. I sent him out each round differently, just to be a bit more expansive.”

Paul Devlin, James Verbeeten, Matt Clarabut, Neil Dempsey

Verbeeten, 38, dominated Richards, 35, and caught the judges eyes with powerful punches and eye-catching body shots.

An uppercut in round one left his opponent from Blackburn with a suspected broken nose and set the bout up to be one-way traffic.

Verbeeten won a unanimous points decision and thanked trainer Devlin along with his sponsors.

He said: "It was good to get out there and win. I made the weight nicely at 63kg.

"I was pretty pleased, I want to get back out again. I'd like to thank my sponsors, Sayers Coach Works, Webbers Motor Group, JMS Tippers, Paul, my coach and my dietitian."

Verbeeten runs the Fight Hub Felbridge gym in East Grinstead, where Devlin coaches the carded amateur boxers on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays from 6.30-8pm.

The pair spent up to ten weeks training for their most recent fight. Devlin added: “Over a ten week period he worked hard and I think the actual ten week period was a little bit long. Glad to get the fight out the way.”

Verbeeten, who also helps coach the novice classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, is targeting a return to the ring in either September or November.

And cornerman Devlin wants his boxer to step up to six-round contests, where he believes it will benefit them more.

He said: “I’d like to see him step up to the next level, an extra couple of rounds then I think you’ll see the best of him.

“I think the longer Rounds will suit him because of his fitness and he relaxes more as the fight goes on.”