Cheavon Clarke won the British cruiserweight title by breaking down and stopping Ellis Zorro in eight competitive rounds.

It has been a frustrating period for Clarke, 9-0 (7 KOs), whose career was placed on hold while Isaac Chamberlain decided whether to defend his British title against him or to move on to the European scene but, by winning the Lonsdale belt, the 33 year old from Kent puts himself directly into the mix for some big domestic fights.

Zorro – who was taken out inside a round by the outstanding Jai Opetaia in December 2023 – set out with the intention of using his jab and footwork to buy himself some room and to negate Clarke’s ferocious inside work, and he boxed well behind his lead left hand for the majority of the opening round.

Clarke, 199 1/4 lbs, used plenty of upper-body movement and attacked in his customary explosive bursts but Zorro, 198 1/2 lbs, stayed behind his jab and found Clarke with a nice right hand and even better uppercut as the 2020 Olympian encountered a little difficulty in closing the distance.

Aware that he needed to shake Zorro, 17-2 (7 KOs), out of his comfortable tempo, Clarke came out quickly for the third, then moved on to the back foot and invited Zorro forward. He then tried to counter Zorro's effective jab. Throughout, the Londoner remained unflustered, and continued his steady work.

Using a single weapon against a fighter as talented as Clarke is a dangerous game, and Clarke began to figure things out and work with some rhythm in the fourth. He scored with a pair of right hands and began to roll in and let his left hook go, but Zorro tried to reassert himself in the fifth by reestablishing the jab and looking to put a right hand behind it. It was a nip-and-tuck affair between Zorro's steady methodical work and Clarke’s more eye-catching, energetic attacks.

The fight became looser in the seventh, and the change seemed to more suit Clarke’s more instinctive style. Zorro still had his moments with his jab and right hand but more and more of the fight was being spent at close quarters, where Zorro was the happier of the two to hold and wait for any clinches to be broken.

Zorro picked up a warning for holding in the eighth, and Clarke immediately benefitted from being able to work freely inside. As the round came to an end, Zorro was backed towards the ropes and Clarke landed a fight ending right hand over the top. The official time was 2.59 of round eight.