ELLIS ZORRO blasted Hosea Burton into retirement with a savage seventh-round knockout victory at York Hall.
The 30-year-old had to dig deep at times and was trailing in the contest when he pulled a chilling one-punch finish out of the bag midway through the seventh.
Now it will be a long road back for 34-year-old Burton who said before the fight that he would hang up the gloves if he failed to beat Zorro.
Burton was clearly attempting to use his height and reach advantage, boxing at long range behind a long jab before attempting to land with straight right hands to head and body. Zorro, meanwhile, was always looking for an overhand right, which he nearly landed in the closing stages of the round.
Burton is the far more experienced and accomplished of the two and won the British title at light-heavyweight way back in 2016. However he stepped up to cruiserweight last year after he was stopped inside seven by Dan Azeez.
But he certainly looked to have a big enough frame for cruiserweight here and he was using the jab well, which forced Zorro’s nose to bleed as early as the second. However it was a good round for Zorro, who was touching Burton to the body with the jab before letting fly with more arcing right hands which Burton was struggling to see coming. One, in particular, snapped his head back.
Zorro, from down the road in south London, was growing in confidence and his large contingent of fans inside the York Hall were responding to everything he landed while Burton was struggling to dictate the jab exchanges despite his size.
By now Burton’s nose was bleeding profusely too and his trainer Joe Gallagher told him between rounds that the fight was a ‘battle of the jabs’ which he had to win. After that pep talk, the fourth round was a good one for Burton, who landed a series of right hands to seemingly leave Zorro in trouble.
Burton, cousin of Tyson Fury, has been in four 12-rounders over the course of his career and this was the fourth 10-rounder. Zorro, meanwhile, had only ever had one eight-rounder, against Dec Spelman in September.
And he did not need the distance here as he found the violent end in the second minute of the seventh. He had already rocked Burton badly with a right-hand, left-hook combination but referee Marcus McDonnell did not call it a knockdown when he first touched down.
But he was on unsteady legs as he rose and Zorro wasted no time to find the finish, showing downstairs with a jab to the body before releasing a beautiful right hand over the top which dropped him heavily. Gallagher rushed into the ring to tend to him also instantly. the official time of the stoppage was 01:28.
In the chief support, 24-year-old Willy Hutchinson claimed the best win of his career to date by stopping Ezequiel Maderna in the fourth of this scheduled 10-rounder.
Hutchinson, who moved up to light-heavyweight after losing to Lennox Clarke for the British and Commonwealth super-middleweight titles in 2021, dropped Maderna in the second and fourth before he landed the finishing blow after 1:15 of the fourth.
Before that, highly rated Karol Itauma got back to winning ways following his shock loss to Maderna in January of this year.
Itauma, brother of teenage heavyweight sensation Moses, dropped Frenchman Khalid Graidia in the eighth but could not force a stoppage and won 79-72 on referee Sean McAvoy’s card.