By Miguel Assuncao
York Hall, London - Watford’s Reece Bellotti stops Dai Davies in round three to close in on a British featherweight title shot.
‘Bomber’ Bellotti (8-0-0, 7KOs) landed a crisp one two combination that left Davies (14-24-2, 2KOs) face down on the canvas in the headline bout of the inaugural NXTGEN card.
In what served as a Lord Lonsdale belt eliminator, Belotti's superior speed and power were in clear evidence from the off and he had the Welshman back peddling with a thudding left hook to the body in round two.
Round three started where round two finished as Bellotti, 26, cut off the ring looking to land a big right hand.
That came 2.52 minutes into the round as a right hand down the pipe sent Davies down and despite a brave effort to return to his feet the referee waved off the contest.
Super middleweight: Alan Higgins (12-0-0, 6KOs) v Craig Richards (7-0-0, 3KOs)
Craig Richards beats Alan Higgins 97-95 in an entertaining 10-round London derby to claim the Southern Area super middleweight title.
‘Spider’ Richards (7-0-0, 3KOs) landed the cleaner work in a back and forth encounter to win his first professional belt.
Under the guidance of Peter Sims, Richards used his rangy jab to keep the defending champion at bay in the early rounds as Higgins focused his offense on getting inside to work the body.
The 26-year-old from Crystal Palace landed a flush overhand right in round two, and landed the same shot in round three but was often guilty of leaning on the ropes and inviting pressure.
Higgins (12-0-0, 6KOs) - who won the area title last time out against Cello Renda - duly responded by twice unloading a series of clean shots as Richards was unable to move away from the ropes in round four.
In an action packed fifth round, both men found the target with right hands from mid range as the split crowd encouraged their fighter forward.
A right hand uppercut from Richards uppercut drew gasps from onlookers in round six but he was unable to follow up with anything noteworthy despite encouragement from his corner.
Fighting a short tube ride from his home in north London, Higgins, 27, again pressed forward as both men landed big shots in rounds nine and ten but it was Richards who did enough to edge a close decision on the referees' card.
Super middleweight: Danny Dignum (1-0-0, 1KO) v Iain Jackson (5-34-3, 2KOs)
Super middleweight Danny Dignum celebrates his birthday with a second round knockout of Iain Jackson.
Southpaw Dignum (1-0-0, 1KO) had Jackson on the ropes at the end of the first round and sent the Brighton man (5-34-3, 2KOs) down early in the second following a barrage of unanswered shots.
Jackson, 38, bravely got back to his feet but the 25-year old from Essex caught Jackson again with a short right uppercut seconds later, with the referee waving off the contest 1.41 into round two with Jackson unable to beat the count.
Brixton cruiserweight Isaac Chamberlain extends his unbeaten record with a third round stoppage of Imantas Davidaitis.
Returning to the York Hall where he overcame a shoulder injury to beat Wadi Camacho to win the Southern Area title last year, Chamberlain (6-0-0, 1KO) dropped his Lithuanian opponent with a sharp left to the body before a straight hand down the middle convinced the referee to step in and call a halt to proceedings moments later.
At 6ft 8, Davidaitis (5-19-1, 4KOs) had a considerable reach advantage and tried to establish his jab but quickly became tentative due to Londoner's head movement and crisp right hand counters.
The 23-year-old from south London looked comfortable throughout and when he stepped on the gas for the first time in the bout, disposed of the man from Eastern Europe following a knockdown with a right hand 1.21 minutes into round three.
Lightweight: Paul Hyland Jr. (14-0-0, 5KOs) v Peter Cope (14-3-0, 0KOs)
Belfast’s Paul Hyland Jr. edges Peter Cope 78-76 over eight rounds to continue his climb up the British lightweight rankings.
Hyland Jr. (14-0-0, 5KOs) landed the better quality shots in an often scrappy affair to ensure a happy end to his St Patrick’s Day.
Cope, from Hartlepool, came into the bout off three wins, and used his counter punching style to effectively discourage Hyland Jr. from staying in the pocket in the early rounds, landing sharp left hands down the middle at the end of exchanges.
Undeterred, Hyland Jr., 27, continued to press forward, often smothering his work as he looked to please his vocal support, but did land two crisp right hands in round four.
Round six saw short right hand from Hyland Jr. briefly stun Cope but the Englishman rallied back to land a right hook to buy himself breathing space.
Southpaw ‘Copey’, 25, began to tire as the fight drew to close, and with both men unsure of victory, the final round saw both men trade leather with Hyland Jr.'s aggressive work tipping the scorecards in his favour.
Middleweight: Felix Cash (4-0-0, 3KOs) v Jay Byrne (4-0-0, 1KOs)
Middleweight Felix Cash extends his unbeaten record with a comprehensive 60-54 six round points win over Jay Byrne.
In a battle of unbeaten prospects, it was Cash (4-0-0, 3KOs) who had the better of a frantic opening, stepping in off his jab to land several meaty hooks upstairs.
Irishman Byrne (4-0-0, 1KOs) showed plenty of heart as he took further punishment in rounds two and three as Cash bounced in and out of range targeting a left to the body.
Cash - a 23-year-old former Team GB amateur trained by Tony Sims - continued to use his superior speed to land several flashy combinations, but despite landing a pinpoint straight right in final round had to settle for a wide points win over the durable visitor.
Light Heavyweight: Jake Ball (7-1-0, 6KOs) v Olegs Fedotovs (21-29-0, 15KOs)
Light heavyweight Jake Ball gets back to winning ways with a 58 second stoppage of Olegs Fedotovs.
'The Blade’ (7-1-0, 6KOs) suffered a shock first round knockout defeat to JJ McDonagh in November but showed no ill effects as he teed off at will from the opening bell.
The 24-year-old from Surrey landed a straight right that buckled the legs of Latvian Fedotovs (21-29-0, 15KOs) in centre ring and finished the job with a barrage of unanswered shots on the ropes just before the minute mark of the opening round.
Cruiserweight: Miles Gordon-Darby (1-0-0, 0KOs) v Jamie Ambler (12-66-2, 3KOs)
Miles Gordon-Darby beats Jamie Ambler 39-38 on points over four rounds in the inaugural fight of Eddie Hearn's NXTGEN series.
Having switched to boxing following a promising mixed martial arts career, Gordon-Darby (1-0-0, 0KOs) looked relaxed jabbing to head and body in the early exchanges.
The 22-year-old looked for rights hands over the top in round two, with Ambler (12-66-2, 3KOs) happy to do most of his work to the body on the inside.
An uppercut from Gordon-Darby temporarily dazed Ambler in round three but the experienced journeyman recomposed himself ended the round strongly.
With Ambler struggling with the pace, Gordon-Darby looked for the stoppage in the final round but had to make do with a points win on the referees' scorecard.
In a night dedicated to up and coming talent, Reece Bellotti, Craig Richards and Isaac Chamberlain will all be action tonight.