FOR someone who reckons they cannot dance, Hervey Bay boxer Jarrod Fletcher sure has some fancy footwork.
Just ask former Australian middleweight champion Johannes Mwetupunga.
The 28-year-old Fletcher, or "Left Jab" as he is known, left Mwetupunga chasing shadows as he danced his way to being crowned the new champion in Melbourne on Friday night.
The Namibia-born Mwetupunga was making his fifth defence of the title but Fletcher ensured it would be his last after winning on a unanimous points decision.
Fletcher never looked in trouble as he moved in and out very quickly throughout the 10 rounds and looked assured on his feet.
Not even a clash of heads in the second round which left Fletcher with a nasty gash on the side of his head was going to stop him.
He landed a number of good right hands and his traditional left jab left its mark on an opponent who had started the contest on a nine-fight winning streak.
So well was Fletcher fighting that he had the title virtually won come the end of the ninth. So far behind on the scorecards was Mwetupunga, he had to knock Fletcher out in the final round to win.
Fletcher ensured that didn't happen and the coveted belt was his. The final scores were 96-94, 98-92 and 97-93.
The victory means Fletcher has now won all 11 of his bouts, including seven by KO, since turning professional after the Beijing Olympics.
Not surprisingly, Fletcher said he felt great about being crowned the new middleweight champion.
"Mate, I can tell you that it feels fantastic," the 2006 Commonwealth Games middleweight gold medallist said.
"You saw how big he was - I had a plan not to trade punches with him and it worked beautifully.
"It (the plan) couldn't have worked any better."
As for his footwork, Fletcher said that it's certainly much better in the ring than on the dance floor.
"I am a shocker at dancing," he said with a laugh.
"Well, apart from when I've had a couple of drinks - I think I'm John Travolta then."
Fletcher will now enjoy a week off before he hits the gym again.
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