By Chris Williamson
Harrow, UK - Liam Walsh moved onto the world title scene following a dominant IBF final eliminator win over California's Andrey Klimov. Judges cards were 120-107 twice and one 119-108 score. Walsh moves a step close to facing champion Jose Pedraza with the win.
The visitor entered the ring to Guns 'N' Roses 'Welcome to the Jungle', which proved apt in front of a raucous "Farmy army" support.
Walsh started the first as southpaw, pushing out a piston-like jab to head and body.
A couple of hard lefts to Klimov's body saw the Amercian's left side marked red by the second round. Walsh switched stance effortlessly and connected with short left and right hooks.
The Cromer man started the third with his face a mask of concentration and displayed - dare I say it - a Mayweather like defence at times.
By the fifth round the visitor had a swelling over his left eye and despite a spirited effort in the round and the advice of great former WBC welterweight champion Buddy Mcgirt in his corner, was looking outclassed.
Walsh was moving beautifully by the sixth, bouncing around the ring and slipping Klimov's efforts. A straight right from Walsh right on the bell saw Klimov down for a mandatory eight count.
A rattled Klimov pressed and caught Walsh a little more in the seventh round, in particular with one sweet left hook.
In the seventh and eighth rounds Walsh scored with crisp jabs and a right hands from an orthodox stance as his "Farmy army" roared him on. Klimov's eye was closing and the visitor was looking far too basic as Walsh bounced around the ring, slipping and pushing lovely jabs to body and head.
The championship rounds were also taken by a much quicker and smoother Walsh as a vocal supporter reminded him, "no freebies" as Klimov pressed.
Norfolk legend and former British and European lightweight champion Jon Thaxton cheered Walsh on as he underlined his superiority. Boxingscene agreed with two of the judges, scoring the bout 120-107 from ringside.