Danny Ball put his name in the mix in a crowded British welterweight scene as he extended his unbeaten record to 11 fights (one draw) at the expense of Sam Gilley’s spotless record as he recorded a ten round unanimous decision in the show-opener at the Copper Box in London.
Londoner Ball had dominated the middle rounds to open up a significant lead, as he outworked Gilley. The fight really heated up in the last three rounds, but Ball deserved the decision.
Howard Foster and Bob Williams scored it 96-94, while Terry O’Connor had it 97-94.
Gilley was the first to take control, drawing Ball forward and landing well with the long right. But from the third round onwards, Ball started to find his range and his better workrate reaped results.
In the eighth round, Gilley took the decision to stand and trade with Ball with a fair amount of success. The ninth was a fiercely tight round, with both having their moments. Ball had the better of a well-contested last round, catching Giley with one big overhand right, although Gilley came back in the last 30 seconds landing a good left hook. Marcus McDonnell was the referee.
Sam Maxwell, who twice boxed Vasiliy Lomachenko as an amateur, had a tougher-than-expected night before claiming an eight-round decision over last substitute Ben Fields.
Maxwell had been due to face Akeem Ennis Brown for the British super-lightweight title on the bill, but Ennis Brown pulled out injured.
Fields was rough as anything, lunging forward with his head and getting a stern warning for throwing Maxwell to the floor in the opening round. When he got some space, Maxwell showed the difference in class, prodding home the jab and backing it up with short hooks and uppercuts.
But too often, Maxwell was happy to stand toe-to-toe with Fields, which saw him cramp his style. Fields hit him with everything he could, which was often his head, sometimes a forearm, while his numerous rabbit punches went completely unchallenged by referee Bob Williams.
The longer the fight went on, the more Maxwell was dominant, as he strung together some nice combinations and Fields, who was finally deducted a point for holding, had to dig in to last the distance. Williams scored it 79-73.
Heavyweight prospect David Adeleye knocked out debutant Dave Preston with the first decent punch he landed. Adeleye dropped Preston with a left hook to the body, with Preston being counted out by referee Howard Foster after just 80 seconds of the first round.
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.