Germany’s Abass Baraou fights England’s Sam Eggington for the vacant EBU super welterweight title on Friday night in Telford. 

The Shropshire town is far from synonymous with boxing, but, shortly from Friday's venue, the Telford International Center, sits the Telford Ice Rink, where the WBC super middleweight champion and local resident Richie Woodhall welcomed Germany’s Markus Beyer to the home of the Telford Tigers in 1999. 

Beyer was far less experienced than the champion, having had just 16 fights. Woodhall’s record read 25-1 (15 KOs), and, for the occasion of the third defence of his title, he was the favourite.

“Do you not know about the history of Telford,” promoter Kalle Sauerland asked “Some Team Sauerland history here. In 1999 Richie Woodhall, promoted by Frank Warren, and Markus Beyer, promoted by my dad [Wilfried Sauerland], fought for the WBC super middleweight world championship. 

“The German came over here and caused a massive upset. We all stormed the ring earlier in the fourth or fifth round. It was a night… Honestly, the atmosphere here was unforgettable. We are back for more – another 25 five years later. A quarter of a century ago.” 

A typically raucous British atmosphere welcomed Beyer and Sauerland to England. A few thousand anti-German Woodhall fans packed into the Telford Ice Rink to witness a big upset. 

The German southpaw started on the front foot from the opening bell. It wasn’t long until the Englishman was on the canvas. A short-sharp glancing left hand sent Woodhall down after just 40 seconds, momentarily subduing the chants from the local crowd. Woodhall jumped straight to his feat to signify it was nothing to worry about. His experience saw him through to the second. 

Woodhall hit the canvas again in the third round. An almost identical shot had him on his back with just over a minute remaining. He again jumped straight back to his feet, and after a standing eight-count came forward but was halted in his tracks by a straight left. A follow-up combination had him covering up in his corner and hitting the canvas for a third time. He again jumped straight up, but blood was running from his nose. 

The composed Beyer shook out his legs as Woodhall received another standing eight count, and ready to finish the job. Under attack, the champion hit the canvas on the bell, nearly falling through the ropes. Woodhall returned to his feet and, with no count being conducted by the referee Laurence Cole, Wilfried Sauerland ran into the ring to embrace Beyer in celebration. A small army of security guards removed the celebrating team, and the dejected Woodhall went to his corner to prepare himself to fight on. 

Woodhall succeeded in surviving the remainder of the 12-round title fight, and at times was competitive. After the final bell, Beyer won unanimously, via scores of 114-113, 115-113 and 115-111.