Florian Marku overcame the biggest test of his career to date as he overcame a bad cut and some tough times to stop former British and Commonwealth welterweight champion Chris Jenkins on the Marshall-Hermans bill in Newcastle.
The Albanian had tried to bully Jenkins in familiar style, walking him down and loading up on shots. But far from wilting under the pressure, Jenkins stood firm, started firing back and knocked Marku out of his stride.
While Marku kept pressing forward, Jenkins was beating him to the punch and, in the third round, when Marku was cut by a clash of heads, Jenkins looked to step up a gear.
But Marku came out with some urgency in the fourth and landed a huge right to the top of Jenkins head, which stunned the Welshman.
Jenkins should have taken a knee, but tried to stay on his feet and Marku went for the finish. Jenkins then staggered back and, after Marku landed another solid right, referee Steve Gray jumped in to stop it at 1:41.
Marku called out Amir Khan in his post-fight interview.
“Chis Jenkins I have respect for him,” Marku said. “But I give my heart when I go to the ring. Today I outboxed the boxer. I’m still learning, don’t forget I am only three years in the boxing game. Many people avoid him.
“But give me Amir Khan, I will break him.”
Zak Chelli uncorked a big right hand near the end of the sixth round to knock out Jack Kilgannon in the seventh of a scheduled eight at middleweight.
Chelli was on top, winning the rounds but not looking too inspired in his first fight for a year. But after a clash of heads left Chelli cut in the sixth round, he went out and found a spectacular finish.
A big, looping right caught Kilgannon hard against the ropes. Chelli then followed up with a left hook and a powerful right that dropped Kilgannon heavily on his back. Referee Darren Maxwell abandoned the count, waving it off at 2:59.
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.
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