by Elliot Foster
O2 Arena, London - In a rematch of last December's brawl, welterweight prospect Conor Benn (13-0, 9 KOs) boxed his way to a ten round unanimous decision over Cedrick Peynaud (6-6-3, 4 KOs). The scores were 98-90, 97-90, 98-90.
When they fought the first time, Peynaud dropped Benn twice in the first round and had him in a world of trouble. Benn had to suck things up and rally down the stretch, scoring knockdowns in the fifth and sixth to secure a decision win.
At the start of the rematch, Peynaud came charging out with big winging shots. Benn was using his legs and boxing. Benn was under fire and taking some punches. He wasn't hurt by anything and was looking to weather the storm.
They were brawling in the second round. Peynaud went down and it was more from being off-balance and slipping, but the referee still issued a count.
Both had their moments in the third, with punches flying from each boxer. Peynaud had the edge with landed punches. A very even fourth, but Benn controlled the fifth with his boxing skills.
During the seventh, Benn landed a hard body shot that forced Peynaud down to a knee. Peynaud was hurt, he got up and continued to come forward with more winging shots as Benn was outboxing him.
By the eight, Benn was in full control as Peynaud slowed down and was unable to land many of his punches while taking far more in return.
Peynaud tried to rally in the tenth. Benn was already too far ahead on points and stayed calm, boxing until the final bell.
Also on the card, Joshua Buatsi picked up his first professional title with a sensational stoppage.
The Team GB bronze medallist, who turned pro after picking up a medal at the Rio Olympics in 2016, iced Andrejs Pokumeiko to claim the vacant WBA International light-heavyweight title.
Buatsi, originally from Ghana but boxing out of Croydon, didn’t put a foot wrong at the O2 Arena, exclusively live on Sky Sports Box Office, as he got rid of the Latvian in double-quick time.
The end, on the undercard of Dillian Whyte’s crunch heavyweight clash against former WBO world champion Joseph Parker, came at one minute and 56 seconds, with referee Victor Loughlin feeling that the visitor was in no position to continue.
"It was less than a round, there's hardly anything I can take from it,” he said afterwards.
Buatsi was originally meant to fight Ricky Summers for the vacant WBC International title on the Whyte-Parker card before ‘Digger’ was injured.
But the 25-year-old has welcomed a fight against Summers in the future.
"Absolutely [I'll fight Ricky Summers] in the future, if we can get it on,” he added. “It was his birthday yesterday, so happy birthday!"