Mick Stanton produced one of the comeback performances of the year to retain his middleweight title at Cage Warriors 157 in London, and after his stunning finish of former champion James Webb in the headline bout, “The Huyton Hammer” reflected on a huge win.
“It feels unreal, if I’m honest,” he told Edith Labelle backstage after his victory.
“I knew I could beat him. I had to weather the storm, like I said, but the knockout was there, and I took it. I got that win, got that stoppage, over a fantastic opponent. Who’s next?”
There was a huge size discrepancy between the pair in the cage at the Indigo at The O2, with Webb looking more like a big light heavyweight than a middleweight on fight night. And the bigger man looked to be having the better of the exchanges early as he surprised everyone at the Indigo at The O2 – including Stanton – by opting to stand and trade rather than go to his bread and butter, his wrestling.
Webb looked to have hurt Stanton twice with crushing body shots early on, but the bout turned on its head when, after Webb had taken the action to the mat and Stanton had worked his way back to the feet, the defending champion started to let fly with some big punches of his own.
Eventually, a huge left hook stunned Webb, and a follow-up uppercut dropped the former champion as Stanton claimed a memorable come-from-behind win to retain his Cage Warriors title.
“I didn’t think he’d go down in the first, I’ll be honest,” he admitted.
“I thought he was going to come out and take me down, I really did. But I’m getting better, I’m evolving, my confidence is growing. And you’ve seen the old boxing come out. I’ve been at it for a very long time, and I can do everything. The question is, how do you beat Mick Stanton?
“It was just reflexes, if I’m honest. I was calm. And, after he took me down, I saw him slow down. And I let my hands go. I didn’t think it’d be that quick that he’d get tired. He’s a big man. But I just felt him gas a little, and I started teeing off.”
Stanton described the experience of headlining, and winning, at the Indigo as “a dream come true,” and said that he’s due some well-earned rest before making his return towards the end of 2023. And, when it comes to his next opponent, Stanton isn’t fussed. Just give him a name.
“Whoever you want. I just say yes,” he said.
“This is my third five-rounder in seven months, so I need some chill time and recovery. I’ve got a few niggles, but at the end of the year, let’s go again.”