Brief reports and fight results from Saturday night’s show at the SSE Arena, Wembley, headlined by Daniel Dubois fighting for the vacant WBO Global heavyweight title against the 14-1 Richard Lartey from Ghana.
The vacant WBO Global heavyweight championship
10 x 3 mins
Daniel Dubois W KO 1.50secs R4 Richard Lartey
Daniel Dubois’ bid to win a fifth title belt in 11 professional fights got off to an explosive start when he entered into a trade-off with his Ghanaian opponent Richard Lartey. The 14-1 Lartey held his own and Dubois needed to remain wary of wild swings.
The 21-year-old was bossing proceedings but referee Bob Williams was forced to deal with holding and grappling. Dubois took two heavy shots in the second to demonstrate that he can, indeed, take one on the whiskers. It was the young Londoner, however, who always looked the most potent force.
Dubois looked to have taken the wind out of his opponent with a ripping upper cut to the chest before the pair engaged in a thrilling shootout during which Dubois took a heavy blow. The downside was the holding that disrupted the rhythm of the fight.
Two huge rights from Dubois set the tone in the fourth but it was a brutal left hook that put an end to the heavyweight thrills and spills.
The WBO European super flyweight championship
10 x 3 mins
Sunny Edwards W Rsc 23secs R8 Pedro Matos
The champion started in a mesmerising fashion, stalking his Portuguese opponent and hitting the mark with an array of snappy shots that left Matos looking bewildered. His nimble footwork wouldn’t look out of place on Strictly and Edwards has clearly got the makings of a gifted performer destined for big things in the ranks of the little men.
Edwards tagged his man with both left and right hooks in the opening knockings of the third round, sparking Matos to respond in kind, only landing on arms, gloves or thin air. Despite being put down for the first time in his last fight, Edwards was happy to get up close and his domination was unrelenting as the halfway point approached.
Matos appeared to be cut around the left eye in the fifth and his face was further bloodied as he refused to take backward steps and was continually forced to taste leather. The sixth played out in much the same fashion, but with Edwards taking to the ropes at one point to lull his opponent in a little closer.
Edwards whipped in devilish hooks from both sides and then ended round seven with a chopping left hook to the jaw of Matos that, had the bell not sounded, you suspect he would have been in big bother.
The pressure was upped by Edwards at the beginning of the eighth and referee Phil Edwards had seen enough.
The vacant Commonwealth and WBO International Super Middleweight championship
12 x 3 mins
Lerrone Richards W pts Tommy Langford
118-110 116-113 118-111
The first round was a real slow burner as Richards – sporting shorts the colour of a bumble bee – and Langford circled each other with the odd jab extended to keep each other occupied. Langford was showing the more purpose as the second unfolded, but was always wary with Richards being such an accomplished counter puncher.
Richards, starting to show his fast hands, was content to operate on the back foot and the bolder Langford got, the more success he was enjoying. The New Malden man was dictating the momentum with the flicking of his jab, with Langford only able to disrupt his rhythm by roughing the stylist onto the ropes.
A swift combination rocked Langford temporarily in the fifth and Richards did show some devilment by going downstairs with two hurtful blows in the sixth. The desire to make a fight of it, however, was coming from Langford but the jab and movement of Richards was, more often than not, keeping him at bay with scoring punches few and far between.
The Devonian increased activity to the body in the eighth round and attempted to rattle the composure of the elegant Richards, who never looked likely to get drawn into a shootout. The ninth was a nip and tuck three minutes with both enjoying sporadic success, but which will find favour with the three judges?
Richards finally met fire with fire in the tenth and unleashed a succession of shots that landed on the button, including a head-rocking uppercut, which Langford occasionally looked vulnerable to.
A Langford right hook that landed flush was responded to with some shuffling showboating from Richards, who was showing no signs of physical decline in the championship rounds. He appeared to be saving his best for last and employed an aggression that was missing in the earlier rounds.
It was Langford’s turn to go on the retreat towards the end of the 11th and it was Richards in authority throughout the 12th.
8 x 3 min International Super Lightweight
Jack Catterall W KO 1.12 R3 Oscar Amador
It was a cagey beginning for Catterall in this tune-up fight ahead of his projected mandatory challenge for the WBO world title held by Maurice Hooker. Precise and economical, Catterall dictated the pace with some accurate probing against his Nicaraguan warm-up act, who he was testing to the body with a series of searching hooks.
Catterall was in no particular hurry and probably looking to make the most of his ring time ahead of sterner challenges, but it was not to be when a shot in the third sank Amador to his knees in instalments. The gumshield was spat out and referee Chaz Coakley signalled it was all over.
The vacant Southern Area Super Middleweight championship
10 x 3 min
Zak Chelli W pts 100-89 Jimmy Smith
The explosive Chelli began in typically combustible fashion, raining in shots with the aim of scoring an early KO, but his landing ratio was not high and he embarked on the second round in a much tidier and compact stance, working off his jab before, again, being tempting into swinging for success. Smith, with a strong amateur pedigree behind him and 7-1 as a pro going into the fight was never going to be a willing fall guy and started to have success of his own in the middle of the second round. The work of both got a bit ragged in the third as Chelli carried on in his hunt for a big finish, while Smith shook his head to discourage him from believing he had enjoyed any success.
Smith landed some telling shots in the fourth but the volume of work generally favoured Chelli. The fifth followed a similar pattern and the halfway stage was reached. Smith enjoyed success with a clubbing right hand that had Chelli hanging on before the bell sounded to end the sixth and a traditionally robust Southern Area scrap was unfolding.
Chelli responded was a barrage of punches in the seventh, continuing to be the aggressor. Two vicious lefts to the body saw Smith’s resistance lessen in eighth and he took a count of eight before doing well to see out the round.
Chelli was bossing the fight as the final decision loomed and it could only go his way in his seventh fight.
6 x 3 min International Middleweight
Denzel Bentley W pts 60-54 Pavel Garaj
The banger from Battersea was quickly on the offensive in the first round, unleashing a hail of hefty blows to the head and middle of his Slovakian opponent, who took Bentley’s domestic middleweight rival Linus Udofia the six round distance in December. Bentley continued to penetrate a high guard in the second, while remaining vigilant for random hay-makers dispatched in desperation by the 32-year-old with six wins on his record and only one of his defeats coming by stoppage. The rearguard action from Garaj carried on in the third as Bentley switched between head and body with hurtful intent. Bentley ended the round with a big right hand, but Garaj appeared unperturbed at this point. The 24-year-old Bentley lowered the intensity in the fourth, while occasionally cranking up his output, perhaps realising he needed to be more wily against such a stubborn operator. Bentley’s endeavours resulted in him tiring a little in fifth and getting caught himself a couple of times. The sixth was about seeing through a convincing display and recording a shut-out on the cards, which was duly accomplished to take Bentley to 10-0 (8KOs).
4 x 3 International Middleweight
Shakiel Thompson W RSF 1.01 R1 Nelson Altimirano
Southpaw Thompson was easing himself into gear against the smaller Altimirano and not going gung-ho by any means. After just one minute, Altimirano was rocked backwards and referee Chaz Coakley stepped in and called off the fight to a chorus of disapproval from the fans in the Arena.
8 x 3 min International Super Featherweight
Archie Sharp W TKO 2.02 R2 v Sergio Gonzalez
Showing no ill-effects from an injury-enforced lay-off since October when he recorded his best win over Lyon Woodstock, Archie Sharp quickly got to work against the Spanish-based Nicaraguan, finding his range with stinging jabs, with the occasional backhand hitting the spot. Gonzalez didn’t let Sharp have it all his own way, but his ambition was met with hurtful ripostes and Gozalez was sent to the canvas three times in round two, with the third the signal for referee Chaz Coakley to call time on the contest.
4 x 3 min International Super Bantamweight
Chris Bourke W KO 2.36 R2 Stefan Slavchev
The busy Bourke buzzed around his fairly unambitious opponent in Slavchev from Bulgaria without putting much a dent in the 26-year-old in the first round. This changed towards the end of the second when a right to the body poleaxed Slavchev to make it three stoppages in a row for former Team GB member Bourke.
6 x 3 min International super welterweight
Hamza Sheeraz W KO 1.05 R2 Ladislav Nemeth
The Ilford 19-year-old, coming off a first round stoppage of Rod Douglas last time out, was clearly prepared to show a more patient approach against his Slovakian assignment and used his long reach to poke out his jab to good effect in the first round. His patience must have worn thin in the second round when a thunderbolt left to the body sent Nemeth reeling to the canvas and it was game over, with referee Bob Williams barely taking up a count. Now 8-0 for Sheerez.
4 x 3 International Lightweight
Mohammad Bilal Ali W pts 40-36 Antonio Horvatic
Bilal Ali, in just his second fight as a professional, displayed some enterprising footwork and cunning combinations as he got into business against regular import Horvatic from Croatia. The Beckton 22-year-old – who trains alongside Anthony Yarde – winged in hooks to head and body and stalked his experienced opponent before engaging up close. Horvatic was relatively unfazed by the ferocity of attack and, as you would expect from someone stopped just 14 times out of 56 defeats on the road, he wasn’t going to budge easily and the latest protege of Tunde Ajayi had to settle for four valuable rounds in the bank, despite rocking the 32-year-old on several occasions in the final round.
6 x 3 min round Middleweight
Caoimhin Agyarko W RSF 1.20 R3 Martin Kabrihl
The 22-year-old from Belfast known as Black Thunder entered the fight with brutal intentions and it took remarkable staying power from his Czech opponent to withstand ripping hooks to the jaw and body. Agyarko’s power was literally head-turning but somehow Kabrihl managed to stay on his feet. He stubbornly avoided being directed south but a further onslaught from Agyarko saw referee Chaz Coakley intervene and call off the fight 1 min 20 secs into the third round.
6 x 3 min round Super Middleweight
Umar Sadiq W rtd 3 min R2 Chris Dutton
The lean, long and rangy Umar Sadiq continued on the comeback trail after his sole setback against Zak Chelli in October and, right from the first bell, looked to have far too much in his armoury for Sheffield’s Chris Dutton. The 35-year-old was dispatched to the canvas on three occasions in the second round and referee Bob Williams rightly called off proceedings at the end of the round when Dutton was retired by his corner.
4 x 3 min round Middleweight
Alfie Price W pts 40-36 Michael Issac Carrero
Former outstanding amateur star Alfie Price proved too much for the convincingly outgunned Nicaraguan who, although brave and resolute, simply had no answers to the variety of attack employed by the 25-year-old southpaw in his fifth professional fight.