Slow-burner Joel Haigh feels longer fights will suit his game
JOEL Haigh says he's taken a lot of confidence from the way he came through his toughest test in the ring yet.
The 22-year-old Hull Saints boxer maintained his unbeaten record with a 40-38 points victory against Paul Haines at the Sports Arena, off Walton Street.
Haigh admits he was surprised by the quality and strength of his opponent, who gave the home favourite some cause for concern early on in the contest.
"I was over the moon with the result and it means I can have a good Christmas now," Haigh told the Mail.
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"I didn't expect him to be as strong as he was or for him to fight the way he did. But it gave me a lot of confidence to know I could deal with that, take his shots and come forward and box my fight.
"I still haven't lost a round so I am really happy about that. The last round was my best as I grew into the fight."
After weathering the early storm from Haines and brushing off a cut eye following a clash of heads, Haigh asserted his authority in the second half of the contest to emerge a clear winner.
Good work in the corner at the start of the third round put Haigh on the front foot and he never looked back.
Admitting he is a slow starter, Haigh believes the progression from four to six and eventually eight-round contests will bring out his best.
"I am a bit of a slow starter and I feel that when I start doing six or eight rounds you'll see me coming into my own," he said.
"I'll work on my start though. I've got a lot of maturing to do physically and a lot of work to do in the gym on improving. I know I can achieve though and I'm getting better, so I'm really happy with how it is going."
Coming through a tough encounter against a the mixed martial arts specialist, Haigh says the experience of fighting on the televised show in front of 1,500 fans was something he'll cherish.
"When I was in the ring I had a smirk on my face because I was just enjoying boxing in front of that atmosphere," he said.
"Coming out and seeing so many people and hearing them cheer your name was great, and it makes you want more if it.
"We are looking at the end of February or early March when I get back out again, but I'm looking forward to a big year in 2013."