AGE is no barrier for Bradford native Jimmy First, who put on a stunning show on Sky Sports at the weekend to hand a shellshocked Cori Gibbs his first professional defeat.

First turns 42 in March, while Gibbs, who is now 17-1, is in his supposed prime at 29.

On top of that, First was only given a week or so’s notice for the eight-round lightweight bout in Bournemouth on Saturday night.

But with a loose gumshield causing Gibbs trouble and First defying his underdog status, it was the veteran who triumphed 76-73 on points to move his own professional record to 14-0.

The 41-year-old, who lives in Brighouse, told the T&A: “It’s probably the best win I’ve had, though I did win the Central Area Lightweight title earlier this year too.

“Cori is a top Sky prospect, who won the prestigious BOXXER Series last year, and he’s stood out as someone with real quality.

“He’s a good boxer, and I can’t take that away from him, but I’ve still beaten him on a week and a half’s notice.”

Gibbs would have escaped with a draw, but was a docked a point apiece in rounds four, five and six for his gum shield repeatedly falling out.

First reflected: “It must have been frustrating for him, but while his corner kept complaining that it was putting him off, what about me?

“The fight kept stopping because of it, which meant it wasn’t easy to maintain a rhythm.

“And I did feel the commentary was a little biased, as he seemed to be getting praised when he landed any punches on me, but it wasn’t the same when the roles were reversed.

“But I went down to Bournemouth and rewrote the script regardless of all that, and it’s set me up nicely for 2023 now.”

Asked whether defending his Central Area title was a priority for next year, First said: “There’s going to be other big fights for me now, as I’ve been noticed by Sky Sports and they’ve cottoned on to my age as well.

“I think there could be bigger fights for me than that Central Area one, but I’m happy to try and defend that title if needs be.”

Saturday’s televised victory will surely make any future opponents regard veteran First as a serious threat, and he said: “I think Cori and his team underestimated me because of my age.

“He said before our fight that he felt he could get me out of the ring in no time, especially because I was only a late replacement.

“But the fact I was still in there, giving it my best shot, as the rounds went on, you could see it demoralised him.”

The end is not necessarily nigh for First either, who said: “I told Sky Sports after the fight on Saturday that I felt I could carry on until I’m 45.

“I’m not 42 until March, so that still gives me potentially just over three more years in the ring.

“I’m still improving, I’m still as fit as a fiddle, and I’m still feeling sharp.

“I’ve just beaten a top Sky prospect with just over a week’s notice, so give me eight or 10 weeks’ notice for a fight and see what happens.

“Longer fights suit me as well, so give me 10 to 12 rounds and I can do a job, and prove that age doesn’t matter.”