Former British light heavyweight champion Shakan Pitters produced a big right hand as he came from behind to stop Reece Cartwright in the eighth round of a rollercoaster ten-rounder in Coventry.
Pitters had found himself outworked and outboxed early on, before fighting back to wear Cartwright down. Pitters had a sizeable height advantage, but Cartwright was beating him to the jab and forcing him backwards. But the longer it went on, the more time Pitters seemed to have to land his shots, landing particularly well to the body.
Still, while Cartwright was showing signs of slowing down in the eighth round, the end was still sudden and not without controversy.
Pitters landed a left hook that seemed to hurt Cartwright and had him backing up. Pitters then chased after him landing a big overhand right that left Cartwright on his back. He was back to his feet at the count of eight, but referee John Latham waved it off, ignoring Cartwright’s protest.
The official time was 3:00 of the eighth round, meaning the bell would have sounded instantly if Latham had allowed Cartwright to continue.
“I knew he was going to be mentally tough, I knew there would be times when I would have to bite down on my gumshield and fight,” Pitters said. “I enjoyed it.”
Pitters, who lost the British title to Craig Richards last December, won the WBC international belt. “I want to keep going forward and challenging for titles,” he said.
Tyler Denny was left fuming after his vacant English middleweight title fight with River Wilson-Bent was declared a technical draw in the seventh round.
The bout was called off at 1:27 of the seventh round because of a horrendous cut over Wilson-Bent’s left eye, which referee Ian John Lewis ruled had been caused by a clash of heads, although Denny claimed it had been caused by a punch, a view that was backed up by television replays.
Wilson-Bent had started the better, but Denny was getting well on top in the middle rounds when the cut happened.
One judge, Shaun Messer, had Wilson-Bent ahead 68-65, while Kevin Parker had it 67-66 for Denny. John Latham had it level, 67-67.
Wilson-Bent said the cut had been caused by a head clash or an elbow, but Tyler was having none of it.
“Boxing stinks, man,” Denny said. “I knew it was a punch, regardless, say it was a head clash, I’ve absolutely battered him. There is no way on earth he would have lasted ten rounds. And Shaun Messer has given him every round, it just makes you want to quit, what the point? You’ve got no chance, have you? I’m devastated.
“I’m the Z-side. I’ve battered him and got a draw. He (the referee) has either seen the clash or he hasn’t. He’s just guessed. It’s sickening.”
Stevie McKenna needed less than a minute to knock out Richmond Djarbeng, of Ghana, battering him with both hands on the ropes until he went down, as the Irishman increased his record to 10-0.
Stevie’s brother Aaron dropped Gabor Gobics, of Hungary, in the first round but settled for an 80-71 points win after an eight-rounder from referee Shaun Messer.
Heavyweight hope Tommy Welch had his third first-round win in six fights as he stopped Kristian Kirilov, of Bulgaria.
Super-middleweight Idris Virgo is still unbeaten after winning a six-round decision over France’s Gregory Trenel.
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.