Big-hitting Renda favourite to tame a ‘Beast’ of an opponent

Cello Renda in action.
Cello Renda in action.
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Peterborough puncher Cello Renda should get his career back on the road with a comfortable win in Doncaster at the weekend.

He boxes Luke Crowcroft in the top-of-the-bill contest at the Doncaster Dome and it’s an English super-middleweight title eliminator scheduled for 10 rounds.

The likelihood is it won’t go that far. Both boxers are always looking to land the big knockout blow and the scales will be heavily tipped in Renda’s favour.

His experience should, say the experts, prove decisive. He’s been in with the best boxers in the division during a 43-fight career spanning 14 years and he’s won 29 of them - 13 by knockout.

Crowcroft (24), a bricklayer by trade, is 10 years younger and has won 10 of his 13 bouts - three by knockout. He’s never been involved in a 10-rounder before though and has only boxed just over four rounds in the last three years.

His promoter/manager Stefy Bull explained: “Luke is a Rocky Marciano type, a fans favourite always looking for the big punch.

“He was a top amateur, winning medals and representing England.

“But then he had a time where he played at the sport and spent more time in the pub than he should have done.

“He is in a good place now though and is a big ticket-seller with good support.”

Crowcroft, from Doncaster, took three years out of the ring and made his comeback earlier this year, winning a four-rounder on points in April and then knocking out Chris Nixon in the first round in June.

Renda hasn’t seen that much action lately either. He last fought a year ago when he beat former Posh favourite Leon McKenzie to win the Southern Area super-middleweight crown.

That was a brutal battle at York Hall in London which ended in the ninth round.

McKenzie looked on course to win on points but succumbed to a barrage of punches in the penultimate round.

He lay on the canvas for several minutes after the fight and oxygen was administered to the footballer-turned-boxer who was taken to hospital in an ambulance as a precautionary measure. McKenzie announced his retirement from the sport the following day.

The manner of that victory, says Renda, frightened off potential challengers.

“I’ve been avoided since winning the Southern Area title and it’s been very frustrating for me . . . all that training with nothing at the end of it.

“So to finally get a fight is really pleasing.

“And with there being a title at stake I’ll be out to take my chance with both hands. The chances aren’t coming along very often these days.

“Of course I’m favourite. He hasn’t mixed in the same company as me.

“I’ve trained really hard for the last eight weeks and had some really good sparring both at the Eastside gym in Birmingham and at Vic’s Gym in Peterborough.

“Nigel Fairbairn even came down to work on the pads with me last week. He was a good fighter back in his day. It’s always good to mix it up and pick up more tips.

“I’m really up for it but if this guy can punch then I’ll need to be on my toes as well.

“He’ll have most of the crowd behind him no doubt, being a Doncaster boy, but I’ll have a few there cheering me on and I’m so grateful for all the support I get.

“He’s nicknamed ‘The Beast’ and I’m Cello ‘Dangerous’ Renda because I’ve got dynamite in both hands. It could be explosive!”

Darryll Williams is the current holder of the English super-middleweight title.

If Renda wins he can look forward to a third English title shot and hopefully he can make it third time lucky.

He was stopped by Paul Smith in six rounds in 2008 and by Danny Butler in one round in 2014 in English middleweight title fights.