By Jacob Kilbride
Darren Tetley marked his comeback fight with a entertaining victory over William Warburton at the Bradford Hotel.
Competing for the first time as a professional in his hometown Bradford, Tetley (17-0) — barring a toe-to-toe square-off in the fifth - clinically outboxed Warburton over six rounds to take a 60-55 decision.
The WBO European champion returned to action for the first time since he won the regional belt via a ninth-round stoppage of Mason Cartwright on the Josh Warrington vs Lee Selby card at Elland Road in May.
Buoyed by a rapturous home crowd, Tetley came out of the blocks firing and the gameplan to target the body of Warburton was evident, as a left hook to the chest put the Atherton man on the ropes in the opening round.
Often noted as awkward and defensively sweet, Warburton came out swinging in the second and caught Tetley with a neat combination upstairs as the 26-year-old tried to lean out of range.
Back came Tetley though, pinning his man in the corners after some right hands to the head and again whipping shots to the midsection and around the sides.
The fifth round proved to be by far the best segment of the night. After a couple of rounds of Tetley dominance, the pair swung away and landed clean blows time and again in a brutal exchange.
Warburton came away with a cut left eye and, in-between another shortened trade-off in centre ring in the last, feigned his way to the final bell, with Tetley finishing strongly to take the win and the ovation o the his home support.
On the undercard, Jacob Quinn from Huddersfield kicked off the evening’s action with a 39-37 points win over the winless Dean Jones, before Leeds’ debutant Jack Galley won by the same margin, kicking off his professional career by defeating Jordan Grannum.
In a thrilling brawl, the game Chris Jenkinson was stopped midway through the third round against Halifax’s Vinny Atkins after a badly cut right eye forced the end.
Newly signed MTK Global prospect Amin Jahanzeb showed his Ingle Gym style as he danced, tricked and showboated his way to an easy points 40-36 win over Simas Volosinas.
And, in the penultimate bout of the evening, 37-year-old Jimmy First of Halifax moved to 5-0 with a tough-fought points win over Michael Mooney, again 40-36 the verdict.
The 25-year-old Tetley enjoyed a fantastic reception of his return to the city and is targeting more nights there in the near future.
“The experience of boxing in Bradford was unbelievable,” said Tetley. I was in the zone to be honest with you so I might have been louder than I thought!”
“The support was unbelievable and I got on the microphone after the fight and thanked every single fan that come out to support me.”
“I thought that it was a good fight and I think the fans who have come out have got their money’s worth. That’s what I was most concerned about. I was more nervous for this fight than I was at Elland Road!
“I can’t wait to come back and do it again. I want to box again here in February and then be back out again in big fight in either April or May.”
“After Christmas, I’d love to fight again in February and keep active, rather than go from now until May again. I’ve spoke to Chris (Aston, co-promoter of Saturday’s show) and he’s said that when the next fight could be. Hopefully I can get on it.”
Speaking on particular opponents, Tetley revealed that he spoke to fellow welterweight domestic contender Tyrone Nurse (35-4-2) in his warm up, although he admitted it’s not a likely next fight.
“I said to Tyrone (Nurse) when I was warming up, ‘at the end of the day, you’ve got an eliminator and if you win that you’ve got a British title fight.’ Is he going to be thinking about me at the minute, no,” added Tetley.
“I hope he does win his next fight (against Liam Taylor) because I like Tyrone and I think he’s a top fella. We both know that boxing is a business. Personally, I hope he does win the title.”
“I’d love to fight for the British title or defend my WBO European title. I just wish fights were made like that (clicks fingers). But, I trust my manager (Michael Marsden), and I’ll fight whoever he says.”