Ryan Walsh emphatically defended his British Featherweight title against Belfast’s James Tennyson at Stratford’s Copper Box Arena. Walsh, 29, put his opponent down with two solid body shots in the fifth round before the referee waved off the contest at 2 minutes 34 seconds.
In a cagey opening round it was Tennyson who looked the more comfortable, earning Walsh’s respect with a series of solid straight rights. The second round started in a similar fashion before Walsh took control of the bout, landing a wave of stiff right hands on the Belfast man. Tennyson was down for the first time in the second round after Walsh connected with a crippling body shot.
A plucky response from Tennyson in the third bought him some time but Walsh, supported by his noisy Farmy Army, continued to take hold of the fight. History-making Walsh was making his shots count; picking Tennyson off with solid jabs.
Walsh carved his name into the boxing history records last September when he joined super-featherweight brother Liam as the first set of twins to simultaneously hold British titles and looked determined to keep hold of his prize.
The British title was won in the fifth round after the impressive Cromer star put Irishman Tennyson down with another crippling body shot. A brave Tennyson beat the referees count before the contest was waved-off at 2 minutes 38 seconds.
ANTHONY NELSON VS. JAMIE CONLAN WTKO8
The Commonwealth Super-Flyweight Championship
12 X 3 Minute Rounds at 115lbs
Belfast hero Jamie Conlan claimed the Commonwealth Super-Flyweight title from South Shields’ Anthony Nelson in what will surely go down as the fight of the year. The all-action Irishman finally won the gripping tear-up in the eighth round after putting the brave Nelson down for a final time.
In an explosive opening round both men were happy to trade huge blows. Conlan took the first round by dropping his South Shields opponent, despite already suffering from a nasty cut on his left eye.
In the second round both men continued to throw bombs at will in what was already developing into a classic. It was blink and you’ll miss it stuff at the Copper Box Arena as the gripping Commonwealth title dustup captivated the crowd.
Conlan went down for the first time in the third round after being caught by a solid shot from the resurgent Nelson. Fight fans around the world were witnessing a true barn-burner as both men threw everything they had at each other.
‘Baby Faced’ Nelson went down for a second time in the fifth as Conlan looked for a big finish. Amazingly, Nelson recovered again and began to take control of the bout at the half way point. 30 year-old Nelson appeared to be stronger after his second knockdown and began to dictate the speed of the fight.
Braveheart Conlan claimed the Commonwealth title in the eighth round after flooring Nelson with a crippling left hook to the body. Ultimately it was Conlan who came away with the Commonwealth title but both men won the hearts of all those watching with truly heroic performances.
HUGHIE FURY WPTS4 (69-66, 70-64, 69-65) VS. FRED KASSI
The Vacant WBO Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship
12 X 3 Minute Rounds
Manchester heavyweight prospect Hughie Fury outpointed Fred Kassi to claim his first professional title in the Vacant WBO Intercontinental Heavyweight championship at the Copper Box Arena. Fury, cousin of World Heavyweight Champion Tyson, looked in complete control of the bout before the referee stopped the contest in the sixth round after a cut to Fury’s left eye caused by an accidental clash of heads left him unable to continue.
New Orleans-based Kassi attempted to make life difficult for Fury by switching between orthodox and southpaw but 21 year-old Fury comfortably dealt with everything thrown his way. A low key third round saw Fury move from second gear into third, still dictating the pace of a tactical bout.
A nasty gash on undefeated Fury’s left eye began to open up after an accidental clash of heads in the sixth round. With blood streaming down the heavyweight prospect’s face an early stoppage loomed. The referee decided to end the title contest in the eighth round after taking a close look at the damaged eye.
With Fury unable to continue it went to the judges’ score cards. All three judges scored the fight in Fury’s favour (69-66, 70-64, 69-65) and the mancunian heavyweight destroyer took his record to 20-0.
LIAM WALSH WTKO8 (1:22) VS. TROY JAMES
THE BRITISH AND COMMONWEALTH SUPER-FEATHERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
12 X 3 Minute Rounds at 130lbs
Cromer’s British and Commonwealth super-featherweight Champion Liam Walsh defended his titles with an eighth round stoppage win over Troy James to retain both his titles on the same night that twin brother Ryan emphatically defended his British title against James Tennyson; another first for British boxing.
Walsh, who had been out of action since suffering a hand injury in the build up to his WBO world title eliminator against Petr Petrov, didn’t show any signs of ring rust as he soaked up an energetic flurry of shots form James.
Both men were made to miss in the second as confidence grew in each corner. 29 year-old Walsh picked his shots well and was the more effective of the two men. After being dubiously knocked down in the third James came back with vengeance, landing a series of well-timed combinations.
James maintained his impressive work rate in the fourth but the champion’s class begun to shine through. More quality shots from Walsh followed in the fifth as the world-title chasing man took control of the fight. A sapping body shot from Walsh in the sixth threatened to topple James before he regained his composure and returned fire.
A determined Walsh began to lay it on in the eighth, connecting with numerous razor sharp shots. The classy Walsh was determined to make an explosive return to action after a long lay-off and he certainly did that. James’ corner threw in the towel 1 minute and 22 seconds into the eighth round to seal a memorable night for the Walsh clan.