By Jake Donovan
Former 140 lb. titlist Lovemore N'Dou scored a 12-round unanimous decision over Gary St. Clair in their welterweight bout Friday evening in Southport, Australia.
Scores were 116-112 (twice) and 117-112 in a largely tepid affair between the well past-prime countrymen.
N'Dou, 41, jumped out to an early start, sweeping the first four rounds on his jab alone. The squat St. Clair - whose best days came a decade ago as a fringe super featherweight contender - struggled to overcome the considerable height and reach disadvantages with which he was presented.
A major wakeup call came in the fourth, when St. Clair was battered and being watched carefully by Phil Austin. It was the closest that either fighter would come to being dropped or stopped in the fight. For St. Clair, it was also enough motivation to turn things around, putting together a sustained attack in the middle rounds.
The wear and tear of an 18-year career began to show on the middle-aged N'Dou, who had no choice but to take a round or two off in order to preserve his energy. Momentum swung back in his favor in the second half of the fight, which came as soon as he was able to reestablish his jab.
St. Clair attempted a late rally, but proved to be too little, too late as all he managed to was to narrow the margin of defeat by a few points.
N'Dou advances to 49-13-2 (31KO), ending a two-fight skid and 14-month inactive period. St. Clair falls to 42-12-1 (18KO), having now lost five of his past six.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox