By Daniel Mole
Jason Welborn was crowned the new Midlands Area Light Middleweight Champion after an epic battle with Terry Carruthers at the Holiday Inn, Birmingham this evening.
A nasty cut above Carruthers' left eye saw the fight halted midway the eighth round of a bruising, and highly entertaining, contest.
It was tough on defending Champion, Carruthers, who was up on all three judges' scorecards. That's not to take anything away from Welborn though, who played his part in a contender for Fight of the Year.
The slicker work was from Carruthers but he never had the power to really trouble Welborn, who is now a step closer to a shot at Liam Smith's British Title thanks to the fight's Eliminator status.
The fight ebbed and flowed and both men traded punches from the first bell but Carruthers' eye deteriorated from the sixth round and, after a heavy blow, opened up in the eighth. It left the referee with no alternative but to bring the fight to a halt and crown Welborn the new Midlands Area King to sit alongside his British Masters Crown.
"I beat a good kid," Welborn told www.uko-boxing.com afterwards. "Terry is game and gave it a really good go. He was busy but never really hurt me and I was able to step it up as the fight went on.
"As soon as his eye opened up, I knew I was going to stop him. There was a lot of talk before the fight but that's all put to bed now.
"I will have a great Christmas and focus on bigger and better things in 2014. I want a shot a that British Title sooner rather than later."
It was a highly entertaining night of boxing thanks to EJKO Promotions, in association with Birmingham Boxing.
On the undercard, Lennox Clarke made it two wins out of two after an entertaining encounter with jovial showman, Jody Meikle, in a light heavyweight contest.
Clarke looked strong against his tricky foe and caught him with a number of spiteful shots. Ever the entertainer, Meikle played to the crowd and took the Halesowen man's shots with a smile. However, Clarke looked impressive against a very awkward second-pro-fight opponent. The likeable boxer caught Meikle with a number of heavy blows and looked assured and confident as he recorded a deserved 40-36 points win. After 7 white collar stoppages, and a stoppage pro debut victory, the rounds will do this exciting prospect a world of good.
Craig Cunningham repeated his amateur victory over Marcus Le Doux in the paid ranks to take his professional record to 7-0. It was an entertaining encounter that started in explosive fashion. Cunningham caught Le Doux with a short left to bloody his nose and send the Stoke man to the canvas.
The Birmingham middleweight looked in complete control and started the second round like a whirlwind. Another heavy shot had Le Doux down again but, just as Cunningham may have thought he had the fight in the bag, a short right saw him touch the canvas. Credit to Le Doux for coming back from two knock downs. He composed himself in the third and both men continued to land and get tagged in the fourth. Cunningham deservedly claimed a 39-37 victory to extend his unbeaten run and hand Le Doux a first professional defeat.p
Birmingham light welterweight, Michael Rooney, eased to 4-0 with a comfortable 40-36 victory over the vastly experienced Kristian Laight. The Birmingham boxer looked assured against his veteran opponent and got valuable rounds under his fledgling belt.