Wembley Arena, London - Former super featherweight champion Ricky Burns (33-2, 9KOs) won a twelve round unanimous decision over Michael Katsidis (28-5, 23KOs) to capture the vacant WBO interim-lightweight title. The scores were 117-112, 117-111 and 117-111.
Burns came out with a very fast jab and followed those punches up with hard right hands. Katsidis charged forward on the inside and threw several combinations, with most of the punches being blocked by Burns' tight defense. In the second, Burns started landing more of his right hand and gave Katsidis some issues with the jab. They went to war in the third round, with an inside war as both boxers fought tooth and nail. Burns blocking most of Katsidis' punches and firing hard counters.
Katsidis started coming on strong in the middle rounds, throwing a lot of punches and staying very busy to keep Burns pinned against the ropes. Burns started his own rally, as Katsidis tired, in the ninth round. In the tenth, Katsidis started landing a few big punches that were catching Burns flush. Burns sucked it up in the eleventh to win a close boxing struggle. In the twelfth, Katsidis came out winging bombs and letting everything go with both hands, with Burns mostly holding on and trying to block the big shots. They started trading punches in the final minute, but Katsidis bulled forward and started pushing Burns back. The back and forth trading continued until the final bell.
Billy Joe Saunders (11-0) sealed his first professional title with a comfortable points victory to secure the Southern Area championship with a victory against Gary Boulden. The Hertford boxer controlled the fight from the first round and despite not finding a knockout punch in the ten-round contest, he looked in impressive form. Saunders put Boulden through the wars but to his credit the former-champion held on to the end in a battling display.
Frank Buglioni (1-0) marked his professional debut with a stunning first round knockout to defeat Sabie Montieth. Buglioni, who signed for Frank Warren in the summer, stopped Montieth who had never been stopped before 20 second before the end of the first round. Montieth went with the attitude to shake up Buglioni on his first outing but that didn't deter Buglioni who caught the Woodford fighter late in the round, his opponent raised to his feet but the referee waved the fight off to give the debutant a first-round knockout victory.
Luke Robinson (3-0) won his third professional fight when he defeated Sid Razak comfortably on points in the four-round lightweight contest. Robinson, making his third pro outing, had dominated the first three rounds before surviving a late rally from Razak in the fourth to claim the win.
Bradley 'Super' Skeete (5-0) continued his bright start on the professional scene as the referee stopped the fight against Jay Morris early in the fifth round on his fifth pro outing. Skeete had controlled the fight from the opening bell and the pressure paid off early in the fifth as the referee stopped the contest to hand the Penge fighter a fifth successive victory since turning pro last October. The official believed Morris could no longer continue in the fifth. An unhappy Morris did not agree with the decision and immediately left the ring after throwing his gloves down.
Darren Cordona overcame Aaron Fox to record his first professional win on his debut in front of the north London crowd in a middleweight four-round contest. The Guilford-born fighter cleverly out-boxed Fox to score his first professional victory 39-38.
Gary Corcoran (1-0) picked up his first professional victory with a comfortable points win against Billy Smith on his debut as he kicked off the 'Gladiator' bill at Wembley Arena. The light welterweight comprehensively defeated his experienced opponent as he dominated throughout to take the fight on the referee's card 40-36. Corcoran went in search for a debut knockout victory in the fourth round but couldn't manager it as Smith held on. Corcoran stepped up the pressure and dished out the punishment in the last round to secure a comfortable debut win.
Tags: Michael Katsidis , George Groves , Ricky Burns , Paul Smith , Burns vs Katsidis , Burns-Katsidis , Groves-Smith , Groves vs Smith