Undefeated Bantamweight contender Lee McGregor scored a devastating first round knockout over European Bantamweight champion Karim Guerfi to win the European Bantamweight championship on Friday night at the Whites Hotel in Bolton, England. McGregor nearly ended the fight as quickly as it started dropping Guerfi with a flush left hook to the body that sent the champion down and kicking in pain. Guerfi was able to beat the count and got up at nine, but McGregor pressed forward with the calmness of a tiger stalking its prey. McGregor dropped Guerfi for a second time with another left hook to the body moments later. The champion again beat the count, but simply had no answer to keep McGregor off of him. A follow-up barrage sent Guerfi down for a third and final time in the round resulting in the fight being stopped. Official time of the stoppage was 2:43 of round one. Lee McGregor advances to 10-0, with 8 Knockouts. Karim Guerfi falls to 29-5, with 9 Knockouts.
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In a battle for the vacant British Lightweight championship Maxi Hughes scored a controversial eighth round knockout over Paul Hyland. A fight that was fought in close quarters from the outset, Hughes consistently landed the harder more accurate punches. The controversy came midway through round eight when Hyland appeared to go down from a body shot, but quickly got up and turned his back, Referee Mark Lyson appeared to instruct the two fighters to continue. Hughes rushed forward and landed a short right hand on Hyland, who still had his back turned knocking him down where he was subsequently counted out by Lyson. Hyland’s corner was irate with the stoppage, but as of this writing the call stands. Official time of the stoppage was 1:20 of round eight. Maxi Hughes advances to 23-5-2, with 5 Knockouts. Paul Hyland falls to 20-3, with 7 Knockouts.
Jr. Welterweights Jamie Robinson and Billy Allington fought to an eight round draw. The bout was competitive from the start with both fighters having their share of moments throughout. Neither fighter however, was able to stand out clearly from the other in a bout that did not offer much in the way of highlights, but remained competitive. As all non-title bouts fought in the United Kingdom that do not have an impact on regional or world rankings are scored solely by the referee officiating a fight, Referee Howard Foster scored the bout even 57-57 resulting in the draw. Jamie Robinson advances to 10-4-2, with 3 Knockouts. Billy Allington advances to 8-1-3, with 0 Knockouts.
Jr. Middleweight Nathan Bendon outworked previously undefeated Eryk Apresyan over six rounds to earn a decision victory. The highlight of the fight came in round three when a barrage of punches had Apresyan badly stunned, but he managed to stay on his feet and survived the round. Although the fight remained close, the determining factor turned out to be a point deduction against Apresyan in round six for pushing and leaning, which he did throughout the bout. Referee Mark Lyson scored the bout in favor of Bendon by a single point 57-56. Nathan Bendon advances to 4-3-1, with 1 Knockout. Eryk Apresyan falls to 7-1, with 5 Knockouts.
Lightweight Sean Duffy advanced to 4-0 in his career by scoring a third round knockout of Paul Holt. A fight that saw several heated exchanges of punches between the two fighters, with Duffy mostly getting the better of the action, the end came when a combination of punches to the head and body of Holt sent him down for the count on one knee from what appeared to be a delayed reaction to a right hook to the body. Official time of the stoppage was 1:03 of round three. Sean Duffy advances to 4-0, with 2 Knockouts. Paul Holt falls to 7-10, with 2 Knockouts.
Undefeated Jr. Featherweight prospect Shabaz Masoud began the evening by scoring a fourth round stoppage of veteran Louis Norman. Masoud implemented a tactical approach from the opening bell strategically placing his punches well to the body and gradually mixing offense to the head of Norman. It was this approach that resulted in a knockdown of Norman late in round three with a combination highlighted by a left hand to the head. In round four Masoud stepped up his pace and scored two knockdowns both with right hands to the jaw of Norman, which caused his corner to throw the towel in to save their fighter from further punishment. Official time of the stoppage was 1:12 of round four. Shabaz Masoud advances to 8-0, with 2 Knockouts. Louis Norman falls to 14-9-1, with 2 Knockouts.
This card, which was promoted by MTK Global, will possibly go down as being the night that a new star emerged on the scene in the sport that Boxing fans and experts around the world need to take notice of. While it is unusual to saw a fighter with only ten professional fights might be ready for a world championship bout, there is certainly no doubt that Lee McGregor’s performance in winning the European Bantamweight championship was both “Star-Making “ as well as “Statement-Making.” The type of performance that surely will have everyone in the sport paying attention to the what will be next for the new champion.
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