By Alexey Sukachev
Winter Gardens in Blackpool, England - BBBofC British light middleweight champion Brian Rose (23-1-1, 7 KOs) continued his transformation from the domestic champion into an international contender with another sound victory. After having a breakthrough year in 2012 (with wins over local fighters Kris Karslaw, Max Maxwell and Sam Webb as well as the third round KO of faded version of Vivian Harris), Rose acquired the vacant WBO I/C title with the last round stoppage of a former WBA champion Joachim Alcine, who falls down to 33-4-1, 19 KOs.
The fight was more of a chess match early on and well into the midst of the contest. Rose boxed high, utilizing his jab to keep Alcine at bay. The Haitian Canadian tried to get in to land huge combinations to the chest of Rose but it wasn't an easy task to do as the Englishman moved fast laterally and didn't let Alcine's attacks to make a mark on him. The Canadian import did better in the midst of the contest, mixing multiple hooks to the head and body of the local champion to get his attention. However, it was a last hurray for the guest boxer.
As the fight went on, Alcine got increasingly fatigued down its stretch. Rose slowly increased his punch output up until the moment he hurt the Canadian badly late into the eleventh round. The English boxer went on and punched Alcine into submission with multiple head punches in the corner. Referee Richie Favis stepped in to signalize the stoppage at 0:59 of the twelfth and final round. Another quality win for Rose.
WBO #13 and IBF #15 featherweight Lee Selby (15-1, 6 KOs) continued his professional education with a controlled annihilation of previously undefeated Australian Cory McConnell (11-1-1). Selby got the fifth round stoppage and successfully retained his Commonwealth title. He is also the BBBofC British 126lb champion.
Selby was much more resilient than his opponent from the Down Under. He used his hard left body hook to worry McConnell in the first two rounds before sending him down with the same punch late into the third stanza. The Australian got up and fought back with zeal but class dispairity was too much for him to get Selby's respect and attention. Round for was catastrophic for McConnell but he somehow made it to the bell for round five. It was when the end came. Firstly, Selby put him down with another hard body punch. Then he started to pound him at will, cornered the Australian and forced his corner to throw in a towel at 1:16 of the fifth stanza.
In an absolute barnburner, two undefeated lightweights of the third echelon produced a thriller to remember and one of the best European fights this year, as Scott Cardle (11-0, 2 KOs) scored a very close unanimous decision over fellow unbeaten (but now 8-1-1) Maxi Hughes in a ten-rounder for the vacant BBBofC Central Area lightweight title.
Super middleweight Callum Smith (5-0, 3 KOs) destroyed Latvian professional trialhorse Ruslans Pojonisevs (14-27-1, 11 KOs) in the very first round, scoring two hard knockdowns in the process.
Former amateur standout and the UK Olympic team captain Thomas Stalker is yet to score his first professional stoppage after three fights in the paid ranks. Stalker, utilizing his excellent footwork and boxing skills, effectively outpointed hapless Hungarian import Gyorgy Mizsei (11-5, 7 KOs) over six one-sided rounds. He is 3-0 now but fans are eager to see a knockout of him.