Paston puncher Cello Renda is chasing a British title shot after winning ‘the fight of the year’ against former Peterborough United footballer Leon McKenzie.
The pair served up a classic toe-to-toe scrap at the famous York Hall, Bethnal Green on Saturday (September 9) with Renda eventually winning with a ninth-round knockout.
The finish of an enthralling bout was so brutal McKenzie was treated by ringside medics and visited a local hospital before announcing his retirement from boxing.
But the end is far from nigh for Renda, who at the age of 32, was seven years younger than McKenzie. He used that advantage and his greater fighting experience to telling effect to claim a Southern Area Super Middleweight title. He now wants the British title at the same weight currently held by Rocky Fielding.
“Rocky defends that title next month and then I want my shot,” Renda stated. “I’ve served my time. Everyone knows what I can do. They all know I’m an exciting fighter who holds nothing back.
“I’ve won three belts at different weights and successfully defended two of them. But I don’t want four, six-round fights or tournament bouts, I’ve earned a crack at a British title and I’m good enough to win it.
“Me and Leon put on a great show. I knew I would have to lose a few rounds early on before I could make my superior experience count. I knew from the sixth round he was tiring and I pummelled him for the next few rounds until he went down. I hadn’t fought for a while, but I felt sharp and strong.
“Everyone said afterwards it was the best fight they’d ever seen. If it had been on Sky television it would be voted the fight of the year and I’m proud to have won it and proud to put Peterborough back on the boxing map.
“I reckon I must be in Peterborough’s sporting hall of fame now, but there is still more I want to do. Bigger and better things will come my way.”
McKenzie, a top Posh player from over a decade ago issued a retirement statement yesterday (September 10).
He said: “I have to be honest with myself and everyone else. My body has bailed on me in my last few fights and I guess 40 years of age has crept up just like that.
“As much as my mind want to continue boxing, unfortunately my body won’t allow me to, which leaves me no choice but to retire.
“I gave my all on Saturday and left everything in the ring before exhaustion got me.