Lennox Clarke became British and Commonwealth super middleweight champion with a stunning fifth round stoppage of highly-touted Scottish prospect Willy Hutchinson at the Copper Box in London.
The 22-year-old Hutchinson has been spoken of as a future Scottish superstar since winning a world amateur youth title in 2016. Fast, stylish and hard-hitting, Clarke beat him with good old-fashioned toughness.
Hutchinson started well enough, opening up with his relaxed style and knocking Clarke about the ring with combinations.
But Clarke, 29, who lost a split decision to Lerrone Richards for the same title 17 months ago, began to get closer to Hutchinson, who suffered a cut over his left eye from a clash of heads late in the second round.
He was able to smother Hutchinson’s work and then roughed the younger man up close in.
In the fifth round, Hutchinson was bulled into the ropes and as the Scotsman pulled his head back, he was nailed with a right hook, Clarke following up with a right and left that dumped Hutchinson heavily in the corner.
Hutchinson hauled himself to his feet at the count of four, but looked in desperate trouble and referee Bob Williams waved the fight off at 1:05 of the fifth round.
“This is a dream come true,” Clarke said. “He is a sharp kid, but I knew I could take his best shots. I knew it was too early for him to step up against me after fighting those Wallys.
“I knew he wasn’t enjoying it because he was tying me up. When someone doesn’t want to fight on the inside, you know they aren’t enjoying it. So we carried on doing what we were doing and broke him down. He wasn’t ready.”
Talented featherweight prospect Louie Lynn extended his unbeaten record to nine fights as he claimed a unanimous points decision over Spain’s Sebastian Perez.
Lynn, 25, set off at a phenomenal pace, throwing a huge amount of punches throughout and what he lacked for in power, he made up for in workrate. The three judges – Marcus McDonnell, Terry O’Connor and Bob Williams – all scored it to Lynn by scores of 98-92, 97-93 and 100-91 respectively.
In his second fight since being stopped by Daniel Dubois, heavyweight Nathan Gorman made short work of Pavel Sour, knocking down the Czech boxer down five times in under four minutes for a second-round stoppage. Referee Bob Williams waved it off as Sour clambered off the canvas at 0:39 of round two.
It only took lightweight Mark Chamberlain 83 seconds of the first round to earn his eight straight win as he knocked out Jordan Ellison with a left hook to the body.
Super-lightweight Eithan James is now up to 5-0 after record a six-round points win over Clayton Bricknell, referee Bob Williams scoring it 59-55.
There was a shock for 6ft 6in cruiserweight debutant, Stephen Adentan, who was knocked out by a big right from Andrius Ruzas, a Lithuanian based in Hull, 1:51 into the second round of their four-rounder.
There was a smoother debut for super-bantamweight Umar Khan, however, as he beat Levi Dunn over four rounds on points, Bob Williams scoring it 39-36.