Ekow Essuman is the new British and Commonwealth welterweight champion after he stopped Chris Jenkins in the eighth round on the Joyce-Takam undercard at Wembley to put his name in among a talented bunch of unbeaten British fighters in the division.
For many years Essuman, 32, was one of a group of good fighters on the GB squad all battling for one spot. After being passed over for Josh Kelly for a spot at the Rio Olympics, Essuman decided to turn professional, although this was his breakout fight, as he extended his unbeaten record to 15 fights.
It was a big win, putting Essuman among the likes of Conor Benn, Michael McKinson, Lewis Croker and Josh Kelly in an exciting division. It also won him a title that had been held by British legends from Ted ‘Kid’ Lewis, Ernie Roderick and Brian Curvis, to John H Stracey, Colin Jones, Kirkland Laing and Lloyd Honeyghan.
It was a close fight in the main, Essuman throwing punches in flurries, while Jenkins looked to pick him off from distance. After hurting the champion in the eighth round, he finished the fight in style.
Early on, Essuman was busy but Jenkins’s jab seemed to be controlling matters. Essuman came on in the fourth round, though, landing a flurry of shots that had Jenkins backtracking after being trapped in a corner.
From then on, Essuman seemed just to have the edge, as he seemed to make Jenkins look a little one-paced.
Essuman jumped on Jenkins at the start of the eighth round, catching him with a hard right hook that rocked Jenkins. He didn’t let him off the hook, landing a series of shots in the corner and forcing referee Ian John Lewis’s stoppage 43 seconds into the eighth round and leaving Jenkins looking distressed.
Sam Noakes recorded his second win in a fortnight as Naeem Ali was pulled out by his corner at the end of the second round of a lightweight six-rounder with a damaged nose. Noakes extended his unbeaten record to seven fights.