Archie Sharp extended his unbeaten record to 19 fights with a ten-round points decision over Jeff Ofori, at York Hall, London, although having talked up his prospects for big fights in the build-up, the 25-year-old super-featherweight prospect, he failed to take the opportunity to make a statement.
The lack of action from Ofori in the early rounds, gifted Sharp a sizeable lead and ultimately made the difference. But as Ofori came forward in the second half, Sharp missed badly repeatedly and struggled to impose himself. At the final bell, it was Ofori who was landing the better punches.
Marcus McDonnell, the referee and sole judge, made Sharp the winner by 96-95.
“Obviously, I have been talking about fighting the (Carl) Framptons and the Shakur Stevensons and the Oscar Valdezs, but on that performance that would be a loss,” Sharp said. “I’m still learning. That was a very tough opponent. There is no excuse. I have to go back and watch that and see why I wasn’t doing what I was doing in the gym.
“I wasn’t getting to my jabs today. There were a few things a bit wrong. I’m still learning and still winning. I didn’t have a great night but I picked a win up.”
Ofori promised Sharp a tough night, but for the first four rounds he couldn’t have been more compliant as Sharp was able to stay at distance and pick him off.
In the fifth round, Ofori started to raise his game, as he looked to force his way inside and open up with hooks and he got through with a couple of clubbing rights in the sixth.
Sharp re-established himself in the seventh, but looked sluggish as Ofori began to come on more and more. By the ninth, Sharp, who had struggled to make weight before the fight – meaning it was eventually made a lightweight – was looking for the final bell. A lecture from his corner before the last round produced some improvement, but again it was Ofori who finished the better.