Kieron Conway showed that he was worthy of a place among a good group of British super-welterweights with a unanimous ten-round points win over Navid Mansouri at Eddie Hearn’s Fight Camp.
Conway, who drew with Ted Cheeseman for the British title last year, came close to stopping Mansouri in the seventh round. He managed to punch the ambition out of his opponent, but Conway could not secure a stoppage – he has only stopped three opponents now in 17 fights.
Mansouri, the former English champion who is now based in Spain, viewed this as possibly his last chance to advance to major titles. In the early stages, it was a battle for the centre of the ring. Both stood tall, used their jabs well and unloaded with heavy rights whenever they got the chance.
By the fourth round, though, it was Conway who was edging ahead, and an overhand right knocked Mansouri back towards the ropes. At 31, Mansouri is seven years older than Conway and the younger man started getting the upper hand and was setting a pace Mansouri could not keep up with.
In the fifth and sixth rounds, Conway finished strongly and in the seventh he had Mansouri in desperate trouble as, after a left hook and an uppercut, Conway landed heavy shot after heavy shot, catching Mansouri clean time after time.
Steve Gray, the referee, decided not to step in, but after being saved by the bell, as Conway landed two more had head shot, Mansouri looked exhausted.
Conway started the eighth round a little more conservatively, but Mansouri had little else to give as he went on the defensive and looked to buy some time. From then on it was all Conway, as Mansouri looked for one big shot to turn things back his way, while Conway pushed forward looking for a stoppage that didn’t come.
Michael Alexander scored it 99-92, while Howard Foster and Terry O’Connor both made it 98-92.