Late substitute Kevin Lelo Sadjo produced a single left hook to the body to claim the vacant European super-middleweight title as he stopped Jack Cullen in the sixth round on the Parker-Chisora bill in Manchester.
Cullen had been holding the upper hand in the fight by setting a furious pace as he tried to keep the shorter Frenchman off him, but Sadjo always looked dangerous and the longer the fight went, the closer Sadjo got.
Sadjo’s danger shots had seemed to be the overhand right, which banged home several times, but the finisher was a left to the body. He landed it mid-ring as Cullen looked to hold. Cullen immediately spun round in pain and took a knee. He beat the count, pulling out his gumshield before he rose. But referee John Latham waved the fight off, at 1:11 of the round, a decision that was instantly justified as Cullen sank back to the canvas and lay there for several minutes.
Sadjo came in at short notice to replace Gustave Tamba, a change that gave Cullen a dramatically different fight.
It was always likely to be fast and furious as Cullen set a ferocious pace as he looked to keep the shorter Sadjo off him, but there were signs in the first of the dangers Sadjo posed, as he bored in close and landed wide hooks.
Early on in the second round, Cullen was cut beside the left eye, although it was not clear whether it was a punch of Sadjo’s head that caused the injury.
Sadjo had more success in the third as he mauled and leant on Cullen at close quarters and, after Cullen started the fourth quickly, he was caught with a short right that made him hold, although he gained the upper hand again as he forced Sadjo back by sheer workrate. Sadjo was on Cullen again in the fifth, as Cullen struggled to keep the French boxer on the end of his jab, and the end came in the sixth.