Adam Azim continued the impressive start to his professional career with a devastating display as he knocked down Rylan Charlton three times on the way to a second-round win at Alexandra Palace in North London.
There has been no shortage of hype around Azim, certainly not from Sky Sports and promoters Boxxer, who are already labelling him a future superstar.
So far, so good. This was win number seven and a sixth successive stoppage, but while Charlton was a step up in the quality of opponents there are many, many more levels to go through before he fulfils some of the predictions about his future. At 20, there is plenty of time too, although Azim does not particularly want to wait.
“This is a big one,” Azim said. “I knew I had him out of there in the first round.
“Shane (McGuigan, his trainer) told me to calm down and ‘let your shot come, you are going to definitely hurt him again’. I was really eager, but Shane told me to relax.
“I’m always on it, Shane was telling me to relax the whole time, but I calmed myself down and got my victory.”
The fight was only 15 seconds old when Azim landed a right that made Charlton stumble, although he looked off balance. Charlton offered few openings, though, as he hid behind a high guard.
Azim kept throwing from distance and after landing a right down the middle and one around the guard, Charlton looked on unsteady legs. Two left hooks staggered Charlton as he moved back fast and then a chopping right sent Charlton to the floor.
Up at eight, Azim landed a huge left uppercut, which sent Charlton over again, twisting him right over on his front as he fell, the bell sounding before Charlton rose.
Seconds into the second round, Charlton was rocked by another left hook and as Charlton tried to get away from trouble a swinging right hook sent him over again, turning him around once more so his face hit the rope.
As he landed the towel flew in from the Charlton corner, hitting referee Chas Coakley in the face, although Coakley was already waving the fight over. After first-round wins in his previous three fights, this one lasted 42 seconds into the second round.
“He is the most talented fighter I have ever trained,” McGuigan said. “He needs more tests, he needs more rounds and we thought we were going to get that today with Rylan Charlton ... and we didn’t. He has just got to get catapulted up the rankings.”
Mikael Lawal claimed the vacant British cruiserweight title but for the second day running, a big fight in London that was gearing up well, was ended by an injury as Scotland’s David Jamieson was pulled out at the end of the eighth round with a suspected broken jaw.
Lawal had been due to face Deion Jumah for the title, vacated by Chris Billam-Smith, but Jumah suffered an eye injury, leading to Jamieson to step in at ten days' notice. He put up a tremendous performance too and the fight was in the balance before the unfortunate end.
“I’m feeling so happy,” said Lawal, adding that he had been ill for the past week. “My performance wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be, but back to the gym and I will come back even better.”
Jamieson began well and rocked Lawal in the second round, landing a good overhand right and then catching Lawal again as he opened up on the ropes.
Lawal re-established control in the third round, though, as he worked well behind to jab and landed to the body.
But there was no shifting Jamieson, who kept pushing forward and tended to shrug aside the Lawal jab.
Early in the sixth round, Lawal started to get some success with the left hand and, two minutes in, he landed a big left hook and followed it up with three more as Jamieson looked unsteady.
But Jamieson came back in the seventh round as he landed a good right that had Lawal backing away, he followed it up with a good hook, but, late in the round, Lawal started coming back again, landing a left hook and uppercut that forced Jamieson to hold , as blood poured from his mouth.
The eighth round turned into a gruelling one, as both began to show some tiredness, but at the end of the round, Jamieson did not sit down and was pulled out by his corner. He looked in particular discomfort as the doctor tried to remove his gumshield.
“I knew I caught him and saw the blood (from Jamieson’s mouth) but I didn’t know it was as bad as that,” Lawal said. “I hope he recovers and gets well soon, but he is tough, he is going to give a lot of cruiserweights a lot of trouble.”
Shannon Ryan moved to 4-0 as she claimed a 60-54 decision from Sean McAvoy over Bulgaria’s Ivana Ivanova.
Ron Lewis is a senior writer for BoxingScene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.