Punch Picker Patterson (10st 5lbs 12oz) was a heavy favourite going in. Gill (10st 7lbs) certainly wasn't overwhelmed in the opener (as was the case in his last Southern area challenge at lightweight against Hove scrapper Ben Murphy) and found Patterson's body early on, but the Leyton stylist warmed into his rhythm as the opening session progressed and took it despite cute evasion tactics from Gill.
Patterson could have stepped away to avoid scrappy holds, and he took a while to get used to Gill's low ducking, which was fairly effective in stemming Patterson's flow. He threw Gill to the canvas in apparent frustration after a good shot from the Waltham Abbey fighter got through.
In the third, Patterson pinned his target to the ropes and unloaded. Gill moved out of trouble and managed a little showboating, which drew a stiff right from Patterson. Under increasing pressure, Gill went down from a slip in the fourth. Patterson's work was well timed and accurate, but one feels that with his skill set that at times in the fight he could have stood off and boxed Gill instead of searching for a fight ending hook. Gill can take a punch, and Patterson is more stylist than banger, but his shots make a lot of noise, suggesting they sting like hell.
The effect of Patterson's picked punches was cumulative. Gill absorbed some plumb hooks to the body in the fifth, followed by a mixed-up barrage to the head. I glanced across to his corner to see the towel firmly clenched and ready to go. He couldn't answer the range of accurate shots that came his way, and was marked up.
Paul Rees, Gill's trainer, made the right decision to pull his fighter out before the seventh got underway. Patterson was dominant. Gill wasn't expected to prevail, but as he says: "You have to take your chances when you get given them."
The matchups started to get a bit more serious for Patterson this year. He's beaten Max Maxwell, Dale Miles (for the British Masters) and now Gill for the Southern Area. The next step should be the English, currently held by Colchester's Lee Purdy but presumably vacant as it's doubtful whether Purdy would defend it, or even if he'll make welter again after having weight issues in his last two fights.
Politics aside, there's loads of domestic 10st 7lbs talent around, so just for fun, let's pick a pryle of prospects that Patterson could, potentially, pursue.
Glenn Foot - Sunderland's Foot is probably too dangerous for Patterson at this stage, but would be a statement of intent if the fight could be made. Foot's record thus far is considerably more impressive.
Bradley Skeete - a tall, rangey boxer with a good jab. Won the Southern Area title from Croydon's Chas Symonds, defended it against Peter McDonagh and now he wants the full English.
Ronnie Heffron - came back from his TKO loss to Denton Vassell last year with a points win over Telford's Keiron Gray. Heffron and Patterson would be good to watch, very noisy, and the most likely to be made of the three.
Any of the above are pick 'em fights for Punch Picker Patterson.
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