A couple of left hooks to the body of Silva had the man from Buenos Aires backing off. In round two, a right uppercut decked Silva who got up at eight and had to throw back as Quigg moved in. Scott had his man right where he wanted him - backed up on the ropes - as he let go another fast right which landed around the temple area. The punch didn't have a significant effect, but a second one, thrown harder, certainly did as it crashed into the side of Silva's head and he pitched forward to the canvas, knocked out. Referee Terry O'Connor dispensed with the count, immediately ruling the fight over. The super bantamweight picture is a complicated one, and with the WBA involved even more complexity is added. After a frustrating year, Quigg can be satisfied to have made progress, picked up a world title belt and remains on course for bigger, more exciting fights next year.
Many knowledgeable boxing folk had Luke Blackledge down as a very live underdog going into his Commonwealth super middleweight title challenge against Rocky Fielding (11st 13lb). Blackledge (also 11st 13lb) had been training for a British title challenge against Paul Smith so was in shape and ready to go. Liverpool's Fielding however had other ideas, scoring the best win of his career to date by icing Blackledge with a single left hook at 2:32 of the first round. It had been good action, Blackledge taking the fight to the champion but getting caught, Fielding finding the target ominously with his uppercut in particular. The ending was sudden and clinical. Whilst on the ropes, Fielding threw a left hook which grazed Blackledge. Then another, which this time landed flush on the chin. Blackledge hit the canvas hard and referee Victor Loughlin immediately waved it off, no need for a count. Shown live on the Sky pay-per-view card, it was some statement by Fielding, for whom a local derby against fellow Merseysider Smith would make sense next year.
When Doncaster's Jamie McDonnell captured the IBF world bantamweight title, he couldn't have imagined in his wildest nightmares that six months later he would be engaging in an undercard-filler eight round contest at 6.30 in the evening. But that was the situation owing to his acrimonious separation from both promoter Dennis Hobson and the aforementioned world title. Now a former champion, McDonnell stopped Bernard Inom in the seventh round, the Frenchman getting caught far too often for the liking of referee Mark Lyson without offering much in response. McDonnell (8st 7lb) utilised his significant height advantage to throw his fast jab and one - two combinations, Inom content to stay circling the ring on the back foot. Inom (8st 1lb) was throwing the right hand but more in defence than attack, as McDonnell's variety and accuracy collected points on the scorecard. Jamie had started to get closer by round three, Inom now operating with a cut over his right eye. As a former world title challenger himself Inom knows his way around but McDonnell was too big and too fast, a left hook sending Inom reeling the sixth. It was all McDonnell as he piled on the pressure, with nothing coming back for the last 30 seconds of the round. It had long ceased to be competitive as McDonnell thumped home a solid right hand, then two more head shots as follow-up that prompted Mr Lyson to stop it at 1:47 of round seven.
Liverpool's Stephen Smith (9st 3lb 7oz) was given a frustrating time by Sergio Manuel Medina (9st 2lb 5oz) until finding a sickening left hook to the liver, knocking out the Argentinian at 2:39 of round eight. Medina had been wild, leading with the head and marking Smith up underneath the left eye. Smith was patient in the opening stages, coping with the onrushing bullish style of Medina, finding room for his combination punching and backing his man up. In the sixth a cracking left hook froze Medina momentarily and another right hand rocked his head back. Medina turned away, complaining to referee Massimo Berrovecchio and spitting out his gumshield. Claiming a mouth injury, this may have been something to do with being punched in the face by Smith, so did not come as a huge surprise. The Italian referee fell for it however, and Medina bought some time whilst the mouthpiece was washed and replaced.
By the seventh Medina had turned it into a messy affair, and received a point deduction at the beginning of the round for his use of the head. It was easy to forgive Smith's frustration, but he kept his cool enough to find the finisher in the eighth. Stephen knew it over as soon as he landed and started celebrations as the ten count was being administered. It was scheduled for ten rounds, and with the win Smith picked up a minor international belt to go with his British super featherweight title.
Stephen Foster Jr looked like hard fights over the last decade had caught up with him as he retired at the end of the sixth round against Anthony Crolla. It was a scheduled 12 rounder for the WBO Inter-Continental lightweight title, made when British champ Martin Gethin pulled out of a defence against Crolla due to injury. Anthony had looked the sharper, fresher man throughout, although both fighters struggled to find the range, falling short with their punches. Foster 9st 8lb) had started assertively enough, taking centre ring with Crolla (also 9st 8lb) comfortable boxing on the back foot, doubling his jab. By the fourth, Crolla had upped the workrate and had a clear edge in speed, putting combinations together and finding Foster's body. Crolla was finding a home for his uppercut too, mixing in body shots which had Foster backing off and looking weary during the sixth. Returning to the corner his body language wasn't good and it came as no surprise when trainer Jamie Moore called referee Steve Gray over to pull his man out.
With Martin Murray's late withdrawal from the undercard, Limerick's Andy Lee stepped in to take a short notice assignment against Hungarian Ferenc Hafner. The standard of Hungarian imports has been well chronicled on this site, and Hafner (11st 7lb) exceeded all expectations by surviving into the second round before being stopped. In truth, although Lee eventually dispatched his man, Hafner exposed some significant defensive issues which will require urgent attention from trainer Adam Booth. Lee (11st 9lb) had Hafner down three times in all, a counter straight left from Lee particularly impressive. Hafner had landed some booming shots of his own, leaping in with southpaw right hooks which caught Lee's exposed chin flush several times. Hafner managed to get up from each of the knockdowns but with Lee finding the time and space to land any punch of his choosing, referee Mark Lyson rightly called a halt at 1:19 in round two.
Olympic medalist Luke Campbell (9st 11lb) was taken the distance for the first time in his professional career by late substitute Chuck Jones (10st 2lb). Campbell was too fast and too sharp for the game Welshman, opening up without ever really stepping on the accelerator. Absent was Campbell's vicious body punching which we have seen in his first few contests, but referee Steve Gray gave all four rounds to Campbell 40-36.
Lightweight Scott Cardle opened the show at 5.20pm with a six round points victory over Krzysztof Szot. The Lytham man was always in control, taking a 60-54 shutout win on referee Steve Gray's scorecard. Szot did have his moments, leaping in with the left hook and landing during the early going. However Cardle was into his rhythm by the third, two hard right hands putting Szot on the retreat. Scott (9st 8lb) does leave himself open for counters at times, and Szot (9st 12lb) found the opening again a couple of times in round four. Szot was marching forward, face reddened and nose bloodied from the fast fists of Cardle who caught Szot coming in with the uppercut in the fifth, along with a nice double left hook to the body. Cardle's speed and workrate once again proving too much, as has been the case for all of his 13 professional opponents to date.
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- Bernard Inom
- Anthony Crolla