CYRUS PATTINSON punctuated his first headline show in Newcastle with a 9th round TKO of Chris Jenkins to end this breathless British classic at welterweight.
The two men served up round after round of cartoonish action with Pattinson, in only his sixth fight, eventually grinding down his more experienced Welsh visitor in the penultimate round.
Jenkins, a former British champion at 147lbs, knew victory over the rising star from Newcastle could put him back in contention for his old belt.
But 28-year-old Pattinson has also made no secret of his desire to secure a crack at British champion Ekow Essowman and knew any slip up against Jenkins would put a huge dent in those ambitions.
Both men got straight into business in the first round, having success within the first minute. By the second, Pattinson and Jenkins had their heads against each other in center ring, taking turns to rip away at the body.
There was a sense that the pace could not continue like it had started but there was no let-up from either man, although Pattinson appeared to be having more success, and he rocked Jenkins’ head back with a couple of heavy shots. Even so, it was the visitor who landed with a big right hand right on the bell.
Before this, Pattinson had never been beyond six rounds in his life, but his engine did not slow down at all. He continued to maraud forward and fire huge left hooks from his southpaw stance to both head and body. Jenkins, who has done the full 12 three times before, was wilting slowly.
In the ninth, perhaps feeling the pace, Jenkins got on his back foot and attempted to potshot Pattinson, who continued to stalk the older man. He made a big breakthrough with another left hook, and followed it up with a sustained barrage. Jenkins was in trouble but not down and out but his trainer Gary Lockett threw in the towel to save the 34-year-old. The official time of the stoppage was 1:34 of the ninth.
“He’s like a dad to me,” Jenkins said of Lockett’s decision. “I wasn’t hurt in there. I’m ok with the stoppage, my ear drums have gone, both hands have gone.”
Pattinson, who was born in Newcastle, said: “He’s achieved a lot and it was an honor to share the ring with Chris Jenkins tonight.”
In the chief support, north east prospect Pat McCormack had it all his own way against Dario Socci of Italy.
McCormack, from 10 miles down the road in Washington, received a superb reception and then set about the man known as ‘Italian Trouble’.
In reality, the only trouble for McCormack was that it took him until 2:12 of the eighth and final round before he got the stoppage.
Socci remonstrated with referee Neil Close, who had decided to wave it off. He could have continued but it had been almost one-way traffic for seven straight rounds and there was not much coming back in the eighth either.
McCormack is now 4-0 with three KOs and looks capable of following in the footsteps of Pattinson and emerging as a headline attraction in the north east at the very least.