Jason Booth

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Jason Booth
Statistics
Real name Jason Booth
Nickname(s) Too Smooth
Rated at Super bantamweight
Nationality British
Born (1977-11-07) 7 November 1977 (age 36)
Nottingham,
England
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 45
Wins 36
Wins by KO 15
Losses 9
Draws 0

Jason Booth (born 7 November 1977) is a British professional boxer who has competed in the flyweight, super flyweight, bantamweight and super bantamweight divisions. He is a former holder of the British and Commonwealth super bantamweight championships. He is also the brother of the former British and Commonwealth bantamweight champion, Nicky Booth.[1][2]

Booth began his professional career in 2006 and won the British and Commonwealth flyweight titles beating Keith Knox in 1999. He won the IBO Super Flyweight championship in 2003 beating South Africa's Lunga Ntontela and fought for the European title on four occasions losing each time in 1999, 2001, 2002 and 2011. Following the loss of his IBO title to Northern Irelands Damaen Kelly in 2004 Booth spent almost two years away from the ring as he struggled to come to terms with an addiction to alcohol.

Returning in 2006 Booth moved up to bantamweight and won the Commonwealth bantamweight title against Wales Matthew Edmonds. After two successful defences he moved up to super bantamweight and, in 2009, won the British title beating Mark Moran. He defended the title on four occasions, also winning the Commonwealth version of the super bantamweight title first against Matthew Marsh and then regaining the belt after giving it up against Jamie Arthur.

Booth fought for the IBF World super bantamweight title in September 2011, losing on points to Canadian champion Steve Molitor and last fought the Spaniard Kiko Martínez in a fourth attempt to at winning the European title.

Professional boxing career[edit]

Flyweight and Super Flyweight[edit]

Booth started his professional career in June 1996 with a third round win over Darren Noble at the Pinegrove Country Club in Sheffield. By March 1998 he had compiled an unbeaten record of 10-0 and had earned an eliminating fight for the British flyweight title against Louis Veitch, it was a fight he won by knocking out Veitch in the second round.[2] Three more fights and three more wins followed including another victory over Veitch and a win over the unbeaten Bulgarian Dimitar Alipiev before the opportunity arose to fight for the European flyweight title. Booth was now 14-0 and travelled to France to take on reigning champion David Guerault himself only 15-0. It proved to be Booth's first defeat as the champion won a 12 round decision.[2]

British and Commonwealth champion[edit]

Booth followed up his first career defeat with victory back at home beating Mark Reynolds in Coventry before getting a fight with the current holder of the British and Commonwealth flyweight titles Keith Knox. The fight due to take place in Belfast on 16 October 1999 would have both titles on the line with Booth eventually winning in the 10th round.[2] The new champion defended his Commonwealth title first when in January 2000 he beat South African Abbey Mnisi.[2] In November 2000 he put both titles on the line when defending against 8-0 prospect Ian Napa eventually winning a 12 round unanimous decision. In February 2001, he made the second defence of his Commonwealth belt knocking out Zimbabwean, Nogthula Tshabangu at the Harvey Hadden Leisure Centre in Nottingham.[3] Booth's brother, Nicky, was also on the bill and defeated Adey Lewis with a seventh round stoppage to crown a good night for the brothers and a unique one in British boxing history in that it was the first time that two siblings had defended titles on the same night.[1]

European and World challenges[edit]

His next fight saw Booth, who now had a record of 20-1 challenge once again for the European flyweight title. This time the opponent was Russian Alexander Mahmutov and the fight was to be in the Spanish capital Madrid. Booth's second career defeat once again came when challenging for European honours losing the bout again on points over 12 rounds.[2] Booth was hoping to make it third time lucky when in June 2001 he challenged once again for the title. Mahmutov had vacated and the vacant title was up for grabs with Booth travelling back to France to face Mimoun Chent. The dream was not to be realised however when the fight was stopped in the seventh round due to a series of nasty cuts around the Frenchman's eyes, Booth ended up losing on a technical decision.[2]

Two more non-title fights back in the United Kingdom saw Booth get back to winning ways with two more wins before, in September 2003, re-entering the championship frame. The title on the line was the IBO super flyweight crown held by South African Lunga Ntontela. The fight saw Booth put down in the seventh round but still ended with a win for the British man after claiming a split decision victory.[2] A defence in March 2004 saw him beat Huddersfield based Dale Robinson[4] before losing the title in December 2004 to Northern Ireland's Damaen Kelly himself a former European champion.[5]

Personal challenges[edit]

Alcohol addiction[edit]

Following the loss of his IBO belt, Booth spent almost two years away from the ring as he struggled with an alcohol addiction. Speaking about the matter in 2010 Booth said "I took time off boxing because I was too drunk...No manager would look at me and all the doors were shut. I'd go on these mad binges and spend loads of money."[6] After earning £10,000 in his fight with Damaen Kelly, Booth had spent the money on a combination of drink and drugs with the money disappearing within six weeks.[7] Speaking about his addiction, Booth said that drink had always been a part of family life but the suicide of his sister Deana had hit him particularly hard.[7] Booth said, "It was too young to die. She was a funloving girl. I don’t know why she did it. She got run over when she was young. She’d had a tragic time. It mentally disturbed me."[7] Two weeks later, following the tragedy, Booth fought and beat the Bulgarian boxer Dimitar Alipiev whilst drunk, saying, "I wanted to fight because I didn’t know what to do with myself after Deana died. I was drinking on the day of the fight. I was numb. I was in no pain. I just didn’t care. It was the only time in my life I didn’t care." It was Booth's 12th professional contest.[2] Booth said that he also fell into bad company: "I was in parks and dosshouses. I was British champion but walking around with drunks and thinking they were mates. I’d get up, drink cider and top up during the day. Sometimes, I’d get a bottle of cheap vodka and walk around with it in my pocket."[7] Eventually Booth checked into an alcohol clinic and begun the process of getting clean: "It frightened me and I wanted to stop, but it was only when my body rejected the drink that I found the courage. My stomach packed in. I was sicking blood every morning."[7] He began training once more with trainer Tony Harris and began to rebuild his boxing career despite occasionally relapsing into drink. Eventually he gave up drinking altogether, saying, "I’m one of those who has to be abstinent, because one drink isn’t going to do anything for me except start it all again."[7]

Relationship with brother Nicky Booth[edit]

The difficulties with drink and drugs were shared with brother Nicky Booth, himself a former British and Commonwealth champion, who had spent time in prison for burglary and theft.[7] Nicky had won both titles in 2000 after beating Tommy Waite at the Everton Park Sports Centre in Liverpool and having had only 12 previous professional fights.[8] A bantamweight, Nicky Booth made four defences of his Commonwealth title before losing to Steve Molitor in 2002 and four defences of his British title, never losing it in the ring.[8] Booth had also competed for the IBO and WBU bantamweight titles with his last fight on 20 September 2003 being a loss to Nathan Sting for the latter belt.[8] Nicky Booth's addiction to drugs had led him, whilst British champion, to his arrest.[9] Booth admitted carrying out a burglary and two thefts in November and December 2003 and was sentenced to two years in prison.[10] Jason Booth reflecting in 2010 on the time when both brothers were having difficulties said "It was bad for both of us...I managed to get back in the gym; the boxing saved me, it's that simple. Nicky is still trying."[11] Nicky began training with Jason in 2008 in an attempt to make a comeback and in the hope that the British Boxing Board of Control would issue him a license. Speaking at the time Nicky Booth said that his last appearance in the ring, the defeat to Nathan Sting, still hurt him saying "I didn't want to fight him, I shouldn't have been in the ring that night...I wanted to pull out, but they said they would have to cancel the show if I did. I had no choice."[12] Booth said of the fight that he had only trained for three days and was coming off alcohol and drugs adding "After round three I had nothing left. My legs had gone; everything had gone. That wasn't me fighting in there."[12] The comeback never happened and Jason, speaking prior to his fight with Jamie Arthur in 2011, told Sky Sports boxing magazine program 'Ringside' said that he wished Nicky would have been able to make a return to the ring saying that "he tried and he's still trying now" but that "some demons are harder to shake off than others."[13]

Bantamweight[edit]

Commonwealth champion[edit]

Booth made his comeback on 3 November 2006 moving up to bantamweight with a win over journeyman Abdul Mghrbel at the Barnsley Metrodome almost two years since his defeat to Kelly.[2] He followed this up in February 2007 with a win against Jamil Hussain and then on 6 July 2007 stepped into the ring with former opponent Ian Napa to challenge for the British bantamweight title. The fight at the Robin Park Centre in Wigan saw Napa gain revenge for his defeat in 2000 with a 12 round points victory.[14] The same venue would prove to be the location for his next fight as Booth returned on 8 December 2007 to defeat Welsh prospect Matthew Edmonds for the Commonwealth title. The win over Edmonds meant that Jason Booth could now claim to be a two weight Commonwealth champion.[15] He defended his new title on 7 March 2008, against Ghana's Lante Addy,[16] and won a non title bout against Dai Davies in June 2008. He made a second defence on 18 December 2008 with Dublin being the location for a challenge from Pontefract based fighter Sean Hughes. Booth won the fight in the 10th round following a corner retirement from Hughes.[2][17] After the fight with Hughes, Booth said that he "didn't realise how well I boxed" and would now like a rematch with Ian Napa as they had "unfinished business."[14]

Super bantamweight[edit]

Two weight British champion[edit]

On 17 April 2009, Booth won the vacant British super-bantamweight title with a victory over English champion Mark Moran. Booth had been meant to fight Lee Haskins for the British super flyweight title before Haskins pulled out with a hand injury. Moran was originally scheduled to fight Matthew Marsh for the super bantamweight title before Marsh pulled out citing difficulties in making the weight. Booth won the fight when a clash of heads forced the fight to be stopped on cuts in the sixth round although he had been dominating the fight prior to the stoppage. The victory meant that Booth had become a two weight British champion having also won the flyweight title in 1999.[18] On 30 June 2009 Booth made the first defence of his new title against Thetford fighter Rocky Dean winning a unanimous points decision. Promoter Frank Maloney said after the fight that he would try to get Booth a world title fight in the near future.[19]

Booths second defence of the title took place in Sunderland and saw him headline the bill against Hartlepool fighter Michael Hunter, a former holder of the belt and European champion at the weight. Booth was able to dominate the fight from the bell and Hunter made the decision not to come out for the 5th round handing victory to the champion.[20] Booth's third defence of the title was against another former champion in Matthew Marsh. Marsh had vacated the title with the intention of taking a break from the sport and upon his return had won two contests. For Booth, a win over Marsh would mean the Lonsdale Belt would be his for keeps after making three successful defences. The fight, in Nottingham on 5 February 2010, resulted in a stoppage decision for Booth when the fight was called off in the 11th round following a severe gash to Marsh's eye. The win not only meant the Lonsdale belt but also the vacant Commonwealth title, which was also on the line, would be held by Booth meaning that Booth had now won the Commonwealth title at three different weights.[21]

IBF World title attempt[edit]

Following his success in the ring, Booth managed to secure an IBF World title shot against Canadian Steve Molitor, a two-time holder of the title. Molitor had initially won the title for the first time with a win over former Booth opponent Michael Hunter on 10 November 2006 defending five times before losing Celestino Caballero in Ontario on 21 November 2008. He regained the title on 27 March 2010 beating South African Takalani Ndlovu and the fight with Booth due to take place in the North of England would be his first defence. Molitor had also held the Commonwealth bantamweight title earlier in his career, defeating Jason's brother Nicky Booth on 21 November 2002 to lift the belt meaning that Moiltor would have eventually fought both brothers.[22] Speaking about his career to date when announcing the fight, Booth paid tribute to the sport and reflected on how his life might have turned out: "If I hadn't had boxing, I'd be dead, the drink would have beaten me. I've got my kids now, they're my focus and I think I've just grown up".[23] In the end, on 11 September 2010 in Sunderland, Booth lost a majority decision to the Canadian with two judges scoring 116-113 and 116-112 to Molitor with the third scoring the fight a draw at 114-114.[24] After the fight Booth stated that his new ambition was to win the European title after coming up short on three occasions so far in his career saying that he would relish a shot at the new champion Kiko Martinez.[25]

Unification and European title fights[edit]

On 5 February 2011 Booth retained his British title for the fourth time and retained his old Commonwealth title. His opponent, Jamie Arthur, had won the vacant belt beating Kris Hughes after Booth had given it up in order to fight for the World title. The fight, at the Brentwood Leisure Centre, resulted in a split decision win with both fighters suffering cuts during the fight.[26] Speaking after the fight, Booth's manager Jimmy Gill said that the fight had only been arranged with three weeks' notice and said that Jason had only just come back from holiday and so had little time to prepare. Gill said, "Jason is 34 in November and small guys like him don't normally last that long. They burn out". He added that he would never allow Booth to take a fight at such short notice again, saying, "That was a favour to promoter Frank Maloney...It was a big ask but he pulled it off...But it was a one-off, I'll never do it again."[27] Of the fight, Booth paid tribute to Arthur, saying, "That was the hardest fight I've had yet...I had to show heart because I was getting out-foxed by a clever champ. For saying we had three weeks' notice, we put on a good show."[28] Following the fight, it was confirmed that Booth would challenge Spain's Kiko Martínez for the European super bantamweight title, the fourth time Booth would have fought for a variation of the European belt.[28] The fight against Martínez was eventually confirmed for Spain and took place on 15 April 2011 in front of a sell out 30,000 crowd in the city of Madrid. Martínez, a former two time European champion, won the fight in front of his home fans when in the tenth round a left hook was catalyst for the referee to call off the fight early, the first time Booth had been stopped in his career to date.[29]

Loss of British title[edit]

Booth finally lost his British title in his next fight on 22 October 2011 suffering a 7th round defeat against Scott Quigg at the Reebok Stadium in Bolton. Quigg called the victory "the best night of my career so far" adding "I couldn’t believe how everything went perfectly".[30]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Bunce, Steve (26 February 2001). "Booth brothers primed for unique talent challenge". The Independent. Retrieved 26 February 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Boxer: Jason Booth". Boxrec. Retrieved 26 February 2011. 
  3. ^ "Booth brothers retain crowns". BBC. 26 February 2001. Retrieved 26 February 2011. 
  4. ^ "Booth retains IBO title". Britishboxing.net. 
  5. ^ "Kelly digs deep to outpoint Booth". BBC. 17 December 2004. Retrieved 26 February 2011. 
  6. ^ "Jason Booth battles back from the brink". BBC. 15 July 2010. Retrieved 26 February 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Ridley, Ian (4 September 2010). "Jason Booth's £10,000 splurge on cocaine, heroin and drink when he lost his world title". Daily Mail. Retrieved 26 February 2011. 
  8. ^ a b c "Boxer: Nicky Booth". Boxrec. Retrieved 26 February 2011. 
  9. ^ Bunce, Steve (8 December 2004). "Nicky Booth - From boxer to crack addled jailbird and back again". The Independent. Retrieved 26 February 2011. 
  10. ^ "Former boxing champion jailed". BBC. 26 May 2004. Retrieved 26 February 2011. 
  11. ^ Bunce, Steve (5 February 2010). "Booth set for another bonus after keeping demons at bay". The Independent. Retrieved 26 February 2011. 
  12. ^ a b Yeomans, Ray (1 November 2008). "Nicky Booth set for comeback". This is Nottingham. Retrieved 26 February 2011. 
  13. ^ "Booth's home truths - Video interview 6.23-7.10". Sky Sports. 4 February 2011. Retrieved 26 February 2011. 
  14. ^ a b Yeomans, Ray (30 December 2008). "Booth targets Napa rematch". This is Nottingham. Retrieved 26 February 2011. 
  15. ^ "Edmonds loses Commonwealth bout". BBC. 10 December 2007. Retrieved 26 February 2011. 
  16. ^ Slater, James (3 August 2008). "Rendall Munroe Dethrones Kiko Martinez, Jason Booth Wins On Under-Card". Eastside Boxing. Retrieved 26 February 2011. 
  17. ^ "Munroe defends his European title". BBC. 18 December 2008. Retrieved 26 February 2011. 
  18. ^ "Booth lands vacant British title". BBC. 17 April 2009. Retrieved 26 February 2011. 
  19. ^ "Booth tipped for world title shot". BBC. 1 July 2009. Retrieved 26 February 2011. 
  20. ^ "Classy Booth too good for Hunter". BBC. 16 October 2009. Retrieved 26 February 2011. 
  21. ^ "Jason Booth earns Commonwealth super bantamweight title". BBC. 5 February 2010. Retrieved 26 February 2011. 
  22. ^ "Boxer: Steve Molitor". Boxrec. Retrieved 26 February 2011. 
  23. ^ "Jason Booth's world title shot confirmed for September". BBC. 24 June 2010. Retrieved 26 February 2011. 
  24. ^ Davies, Gareth A. (11 September 2010). "Jason Booth loses title fight against Canadian Steve Molitor". The Telegraph. Retrieved 26 February 2011. 
  25. ^ "Jason Booth targets the European title next year". Boxing Scene. Retrieved 26 February 2011. 
  26. ^ "Jason Booth beats Jamie Arthur to retain British title". BBC. 5 February 2011. Retrieved 26 February 2011. 
  27. ^ "Fight manager will never let Booth take a fight at short notice again". This is Nottingham. 9 February 2011. Retrieved 26 February 2011. 
  28. ^ a b "Booth to fight for European title after double title success". This is Nottingham. 7 February 2011. Retrieved 26 February 2011. 
  29. ^ This is Nottingham | Jason Booth fails in European title attempt
  30. ^ Bury times | Scott Quigg: My win over Jason Booth went so smoothly
Preceded by
Rendall Munroe
Vacated
Commonwealth Super bantamweight Champion
5 February 2010 - 16 October 2010
5 February 2011 - present
Succeeded by
Jamie Arthur
Preceded by
Matthew Marsh
Vacated
British Super bantamweight Champion
17 April 2009 – 22 October 2011
Succeeded by
Scott Quigg
Preceded by
Tshifhiwa Munyai
Vacated
Commonwealth Bantamweight Champion
8 December 2007 – 22 January 2010
vacated
Succeeded by
Jamie McDonnell
Preceded by
Lunga Ntontela
IBO Super Flyweight Champion
20 September 2003 – 17 December 2004
Succeeded by
Damaen Kelly
Preceded by
Keith Knox
British Flyweight Champion
16 October 1999–2002
vacated
Succeeded by
Chris Edwards
Commonwealth Flyweight Champion
16 October 1999–2001
vacated
Succeeded by
Dale Robinson