Ekow Essuman made a successful second defense of his British and Commonwealth welterweight titles as he claimed a unanimous points decision over Darren Tetley in the chief support to the Tyson Fury-Dillian Whyte heavyweight title fight at Wembley Stadium.
Despite taking place in front of a nearly full stadium – which must have been a record crowd for a domestic title fight – there were few highlights.
The fight took time to warm up, as neither tended to over-commit early on, but as the later rounds wore on, both went for it
The judges all went for Essuman. Kieran McCann scored it 117-111, while John Latham and Marcus McDonnell both had it 116-112.
The champion tried to make a fast start but found his shots falling short as Tetley slowly edged away from him, looking to land his southpaw jab. Indeed, for the first four rounds, the jabs from either Dillian Whyte man were the best punches as Essuman struggled to cut down the ring.
Essuman had some success in the fifth round, getting close and catching Tetley with a hard right hook and uppercut. But the fight settled back into the same pattern quickly.
There was more action from Essuman in the seventh round as he stepped on the gas, landing a five-punch combination that rattled Tetley’s head.
And he kept the pressure on in the eighth as Tetley tried to answer with straight shots and both landed near the end of the ninth as Essuman continued to try to press it.
It was Tetley coming forward in the tenth as he stood and traded with Essuman catching the champion on the way in, as Essuman’s gumshield fell out.
But it was warming up into a good finish, as Essuman landed hooks to head and body in the eleventh round and they both caught each other clean just before the bell went.
Essuman continued to throw big rights in the final round, as Tetley pressed forward, but while Essuman landed one good shot hook, often the punches sailed over Tetley’s head as Essuman did enough to ensure victory.
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.