There were victories for two of Lawrence Okolie’s team-mates from the Rio Olympics on the Wembley undercard of his big night as Joe Cordina and Anthony Fowler kept moving up the rankings.
Cordina was boxing for the first time since 2019 and faced a tough opponent in Faroukh Kourbanov, from Belgium, who took everything Cordina handed out and kept coming back, before Cordina claimed a majority decision.
The Welshman built up a lead in the early rounds, working behind the jab and landing some decent shots to the body.
Kourbanov began to have some success in the middle rounds, forcing Cordina to stand and trade with him, and he opened up in the sixth, landing well with a series of body punches.
By now, Cordina was struggling to dissuade the Belgian, who was working hard and getting through with shots as Cordina’s output began to slow.
There was a good finish by Cordina, though, which could have sealed him the win, as bullied Kourbanov in the final round, landing with some stylish combinations.
Steve Gray scored it 96-96, but both Marcus McDonnell and Michael Alexander sided with Cordina, by scores of 98-93 and 96-95.
Fowler made short work of Jorge Fortea, knocking him out at the end of the second round of their scheduled ten at super-welterweight.
The heavy-handed Liverpudlian had Fortea backing up from the first bell. And while the Spaniard tried to move and cause Fowler some problems, Fowler simply walked him down.
Fowler began to cut the ring off to Fortea in the third round and then dropped him with what looked like a stiff left jab.
Fortea beat the count…just. But Fowler was straight on him, flooring him with the next right hand he threw and, despite the bell sounding, Fortea was counted out by referee Steve Gray. The official time was 3:08 of round three.
Fowler retained a WBA minor super-welterweight belt.
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.