By Elliot Foster
Jeff Saunders dazzled his way to a potential shot at the British title.
The Sedgefield super-lightweight barely put a foot wrong at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle, exclusively live on BoxNation.
Saunders remained unbeaten with his solid, convincing victory against the previously undefeated Steven Lewis from Liverpool.
Their fight took place on the undercard of the return fight between Liam Smith and Liam Williams.
Lewis missed the weight on Friday, coming in at 10st 2lbs as opposed to the 10-stone limit, giving Saunders a clear advantage in the fight.
And it was an advantage he didn’t let slip as, at the end of the 10-round distance, the three ringside judges awarded him the fight by margins of 98-93 twice and a much closer 96-95.
He is now in pole position, provided the Board of Control doesn’t order a final eliminator, to challenge Jack Catterall for the Lonsdale belt.
Earlier in the card, Mark Heffron made a statement in his eight-round showdown against Lewis Taylor.
The Oldham super-middleweight, trained by Ricky Hatton at the Hatton Gym in Hyde, had Dronfield’s Taylor down early in the fight, but his continued spell of pressure meant that the former Commonwealth middleweight title challenger was wilting throughout and a great body shot put Taylor down a second time.
He couldn’t beat the count of the referee and the fight was halted after two minutes and three seconds of round seven.
With the victory, Heffron advances to 17-0 (14 KOs), while Taylor slips to 19-5-1 (3 KOs).
Meanwhile, Troy Williamson outpointed the durable Miguel Aguilar over six rounds.
Joe Maphosa went the distance against Craig Derbyshire over four rounds.
Maphosa, a former Team GB man, looked polished against Doncaster’s Derbyshire, whose last win was back in June for the then-vacant Central Area super-flyweight title.
The referee scored the contest 40 points to 37.
And Michael Watson got off to a flying start in the paid code with a 39-second first-round stoppage win over Hristo Yonev in the light-heavyweight division.