Dan Azeez claimed the vacant British light-heavyweight title as he stopped former champion Hosea Burton in the seventh round at Wembley Arena.
The unbeaten Azeez simply battered Burton, who never got to grips with Azeez low, aggressive come forward style. Burton, who was being cheered on at ringside by his cousin, Tyson Fury, held his high in an invitation to whip hooks over the top.
Early on, Burton tried to keep Azeez off with the jab, but when that did not work, he tried to stand and fight but was caught repeatedly.
“I’m consistent, I graft day after day and I will do it until my last breath,” Azeez, 32, who took up boxing when studying for a degree at university.
“I’m No 1 now, I am No 1. When they talk about British light-heavyweights, my name had better come up. I didn’t get out of gear two, I was nice and relaxed.”
Azeez pushed Burton back in the first round and, after looking tentative early, Burton started firing some wild shots that generally missed.
Burton had a bit more success in the second, but Azeez began to really find his range in the third, beating Burton to the jab and then having success with the right, one of which knocked Burton back into the corner. Just before the bell, Azeez got through with another left hook.
The pattern remained the same, Burton with his head high in the air, seemed incapable of stopping Azeez from landing and as hook after hook from Azeez landed, the ooo’s and aah’s from the crowd were loud.
Burton had a bit more success keeping Azeez off in the sixth, but Azeez stepped up a gear in the dying seconds of the round, landing clean and chasing Burton across the ring.
He continued the onslaught in the seventh, rushing Burton at the start and, when Azeez landed with a huge left hook, Burton was in trouble, as he sagged at the knees for the first time. He carried on landing, catching Burton with four right uppercuts before referee John Latham stepped in to stop it.
Cruiserweight Mikael Lawal moved to 15-0 after uncorking a huge right hand at the end of the fifth round to stop Leonardo Damian Bruzzese, of Italy, referee Marcus McDonnell’s count being abandoned as Bruzzese fumbled around the try and regain his footing.
Bruzzese had been down twice in the second round, although to be fair to him, the second knockdown seemed to be after a punch to the back of the head.
Former highly rated junior Adam Azim, 19, was given the big billing as he kicked off the live Sky Sports show and didn’t disappoint, as he stopped Stu Greener in the second round at lightweight. Azim floored Greener heavily at the end of the first round and finished the job with two big rights at the start of the second.
Adam’s brother Hasim, a super-welterweight, was even quicker as he took just 51 seconds to get rid of Croatia’s Ivan Njegac.
Natasha Jonas eased back into action with a six-round points win over Lithuania’s Viada Masiokaite, earning a 59-55 decision.
Ron Lewis is a senior writer for BoxingScene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.