Deion Jumah is now in pole position to fight for the British title.
The Chelsea cruiserweight won the English belt last time out, stopping Wadi Camacho inside five rounds at Bethnal Green’s famous York Hall venue.
Jumah travelled to Greater Manchester last weekend to make the first defence of his belt against Sale’s Sam Hyde.
And it was 12 rounds, in a British title final eliminator, that those at ringside at the Woodhouse Park Lifestyle Centre and spectators online will fail to forget for the foreseeable –– and rightly so.
Jumah piled on some concerted pressure away from home, forcing Hyde –– whose eye had begun to swell early doors –– to weather quite a storm while backed into the champion’s corner.
Close tallies of 115-114 and a pair of 115-113s ensured the Londoner returned south with his silverware, but it wasn’t for the want of trying on former WBA Inter-Continental title challenger Hyde’s part.
There were moments in the latter stages of the main event when it looked as though Sam might just turn the screw and in doing so silence the numerous and vociferous Jumah supporters, who had to be warned to take their seats prior to the activity commencing.
Richard Riakporhe, Dillian Whyte’s cruiserweight protégée, is the current Lonsdale belt holder and appears to be next up for ‘Ghost’, while ‘Hollywood’ will be hoping to heal quickly in order to get back under the lights and back into title contention in what is a very competitive domestic division at 200 pounds.
Meanwhile, Mark Jeffers outlined his credentials as a potential player in the super-middleweight division.
The 21-year-old took on Ben Thomas for the vacant Central Area title and took the co-challenger out in good style, winning the title inside four rounds.
Jeffers, just 21, was cut by the right eyebrow after a clash of heads and Thomas suffered a similar laceration courtesy of a punch.
Both cuts weren’t great, but it didn’t matter in the end as the younger man, who weighed in just under two pounds more than Chorley’s Thomas and dead on the 12-stone limit, had his foe down twice in the fourth before Mark Lyson halted proceedings just as the towel was being thrown in by Thomas’ trainer and manager Kieran Farrell.
Marcus Morrison continued his rich vein of form with a quick start to the new year.
The former Joe Gallagher-trained WBC International Silver middleweight champion, who is now being cornered by Pat Barrett, was in against Darryl Sharp over six rounds for the second time in less than a year.
Morrison, who travelled to Italy last July and won the aforementioned vacant title with a ninth-round stoppage against ex-European champion Emanuele Blandamura, was in action at the Wythenshawe venue as recently as last September when he vanquished Eligio Palacios inside a round.
But he knew he couldn’t do that with Sharp, who had 25 fights in the last calendar year, and stuck to his boxing, at times mixing it up and taking chances but staying patient and showing maturity to earn a 60-55 scorecard from third man Phil Edwards.
Colwyn Bay’s Gerome Warburton moved to 5-0 with a straightforward points win against his managerial stablemate Ryan Hibbert.
Hibbert, who was beaten at the same venue back in September by then-debutant Wycombe King, gave a good account of himself against ‘The Breadmaker’, who boxed to orders over four and got a shutout (40-36) on Mark Lyson’s card, ensuring that Hibbert remained winless.
And Osain Williams made a good start to his career in the paid code as he outpointed Essex’s Dylan Draper over four rounds, with the referee Mark Lyson handing in a 40-36 tally for the Welshman.