By Elliot Foster
Liverpool, Echo Arena - NATASHA JONAS stopped Taoussy L’Hadji inside the distance to claim her first professional title.
The 33-year-old former Olympian, who fought Katie Taylor in the Olympics in London back in 2012, has long chased her rival since turning over to the paid code.
Jonas is now one step closer to taking on the Bray woman after getting her French opponent out early. Referee Michael Alexander had very little to do, but a right hook from Jonas forced L’Hadji somewhat out on her feet and meant that the ref had to step in.
The WBA International female super-featherweight title was on the line on Saturday and the plan now is to fight for a world title before a potential showdown with Taylor down the line.
The end of the fight came at one minute and 44 seconds of round number seven and promoter Eddie Hearn described her as “a future world champion, for sure.”
ANTHONY FOWLER stopped Ryan Toms in the second round to remain undefeated.
The 26-year-old issued the former Joe Selkirk opponent with a stiff right uppercut to the solar plexus, forcing him to writhe around in agony.
It was pretty one-sided prior to the stoppage, which was called at two minutes and 49 seconds.
SAM EGGINGTON got his career in the super-welterweight division off to a good start.
The former British, Commonwealth and European welterweight champion was in a tickover fight against Achilles Szabo.
Eggington had been out of the ring since losing that European belt against Mohamed Mimoune at the ECHO Arena.
But he made short work of Szabo and a halt was called to proceedings after one minute and 41 seconds of the second round.
TOM FARRELL blew off the cobwebs with a stoppage and now looks to head back towards title contention.
The former WBA International super-lightweight champion was back at the scene of his darkest hour having been knocked out by Ohara Davies at the ECHO Arena last September.
But nerves didn’t appear to be an issue as he dispatched of Chichester-based Zambian Mwenya Chisanga inside three rounds.
Earlier in what proved to be the final round, Farrell caught the visitor with a shot which made the legs do a funny dance.
Chisanga was probed by Farrell after the breakthrough and the referee Mark Lyson called a halt to the action after two minutes and 30 seconds following a sustained barrage of pressure.
Farrell, who has now had two fights since that aforementioned defeat to Davies, is looking to move back in to title class in the late summer, but is first set for a break before returning to training.
SCOTT FITZGERALD danced his way to victory against the game but limited Laszlo Fazekas.
The 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medal winner knocked the 28-year-old Hungarian down in the third round of eight.
But ‘Fitzy’, despite visibly hurting Fazekas by ripping in hooks to the midsection, couldn’t capitalise on the dent he made in the visitor and was forced to take the fight on points by a margin of 80 points 71.
Fitzgerald, 26, was warned for a low blow in the penultimate round but moves on to double figures in the paid code with his victory over the former Hungarian title challenger and has seven quick finishes on his ledger.
Bilal Rehman won over six rounds after his title fight cancellation.
The Rochdale man was set to take on Ryan Mulcahy in a challenge for ‘The Monk’s’ Central Area super-lightweight title.
But instead of getting a Sky Sports television slot due to Mulcahy suffering a knee injury, ‘Billy The Kid’ was in over six rounds against Edvinas Puplauskas.
Puplauskas took a share of a round as the referee scored it 60 points to 55, but it was Rehman who advanced his record with a victory. He is now 11-0 with three early.
CRAIG GLOVER kept up his impressive run of stoppage victories with a first-round outing.
Kicking off the action at the ECHO Arena, the 25-year-old was in the ring before there was a soul was was seated.
Glover, on the undercard of Amir Khan’s return against Phil Lo Greco of Canada, lost this time last year but has now scored five stoppages since suffering his maiden setback in the paid code.
It was Ratu Liatianara, who walked to the ring with a record of 5-1, who was on the wrong end of a jab and left-hook combination inside the first 30 seconds, leading the referee to issue the mandatory eight-count before stopping the contest and raising the hand of ‘The Real Deal’ who is now 7-1 with six early.
Meanwhile, there was disappointment for Ricky Starkey, who was on the wrong end of a decision against 2016 Olympian Qais Ashfaq, as he lost by 40 points to 36.