IRELAND’S Katie Taylor scored a quick three-round stoppage of outgunned American Kimberly Connor.
The end came at 1-43.
Connor was a sitting duck early on, a stationary target against a woman who is happy to let her combinations flow.
Taylor rattled in a left hook in round two and was a class apart. Connor was tough and trudged bleakly forwards. Although Taylor had swelling under her right eye she kept attacking and in the third Connor’s legs were stiffened by a right hand. Taylor moved in.
Connor tried to fire back and planted her feet but Taylor did the same and ricocheted hurtful shots off Connor’s head. Again the American’s legs constricted and as Taylor set about her stricken foe referee Steve Gray made the perfect intervention.
Dave Allen produced the punch of his career to breathe new life into it, knocking out Nick Webb at 2-59 of round four.
Allen ended a messy scrap with a terrific right hand that sent Webb spiraling through the ropes and down.
It was a tremendous homerun hit.
Neither had asserted themselves in the opening three rounds while both had landed several shots without establishing real control. Allen was patient, Webb was busier. Then the hammer dropped and the game was over.
Joshua Buatsi is a brilliant prospect and it’s time to loosen the leash.
It took just 1-56 to drop Andrejs Pokumeiko twice before the fight was halted.
Buatsi initially floored the Latvian when he caught the visitor pulling out of an exchange with a left hook. In the blink of an eye, the Rio Olympian piled in and dumped him with another hook. There was no fight left in the Latvian and referee Victor Loughlin called it off. It was optimistically slated for 10, but it will be someone special who takes Buatsi that far.
Conor Benn put his rivalry with game Frenchman Cedrick Peynaud to bed with a 10-round points win over his old foe.
The two shared one of the British fights of the year in 2017 in a six-rounder at Bethnal Green but here, at the O2 Arena, Benn came through far fewer unsettling moments to prevail on all three scorecards.
Walked to the ring by his father, Nigel, it took Benn plenty of time again to adapt and he took some stick along the way. Southpaw Peynaud was no pushover. But he did go over, three times in all, albeit never from any especially sinister shots.
Both were happy to engage but this time it was largely untidy and Benn dictated the play the second half.
In the second, Howard Foster appeared to harshly judge that Peynaud had been put down, and then promptly believed Benn tripped or slipped rather than felt he had been dropped from a cuffing right.
It was a decent fight without the highlight moments of their initial tear-up. Again it was hard for both men.
There was not much between them. The Frenchman picked up a cut over his right eye as the fight wore on while Benn bled from the nose.
There were untidy spells, during which it was probably as frustrating to watch as it was to be in.
A left to the body dropped the Frenchman in round seven and he took a third count in round nine. He had it all to do in the last but he could do nothing to reverse the deficit and Benn closed the page on the Peynaud chapter 98-91, 98-90 and 97-90.
Frank Buglioni made a patient start to life after the Callum Johnson defeat with a stoppage over the game Emmanuel Feuzeu.
Buglioni landed an early right to the body as Feuzeu spent many of the opening stages retreating. Buglioni tried coming in from a variety of angles and had more success with bodyshots in round two. A right uppercut dazzled Feuzeu, who switched southpaw for a while, and he was caught by another right hand moments before the bell to end the second.
Feuzeu allowed himself a smile as he made it through round three. The fourth opened with both swinging. Buglioni was briefly backed up to the ropes but Feuzeu promptly ran out of gas and Buglioni bossed the remainder of the session.
Stubborn and resolute, Feuzeu came again to open round five. Frank was making it tougher than it needed to be, giving the visitor more opportunities to connect than he should have done.
However, Feuzeu was marked up by the left eye, his tank was emptying and he had slowed by the time round six was under way.
A right uppercut caused him to hold and his legs stiffened from a bodyshot soon after. His corner did not allow him out for the seventh.
Liverpool prospect Antony Fowler scored the stoppage of his embryonic career, moving to 7-0 with a thumping left hook victory over previously-unbeaten Craig O’Brien.
Round six was only eight seconds old when O’Brien went down and out. A left hook of the highlight reel variety did the damage and it saw the loser land flat on his back with his head nestling on the bottom rope.
O’Brien was checked over by paramedics in the ring and rose to an ovation before sitting on his stool.
Fowler had opened his account early on, looking to attack the body. He did not move his head a great deal and ate several jabs. O’Brien circled, mostly clockwise, and landed a right that seemed to mark Fowler by the left eye.
O’Brien scored only occasionally but Fowler was busier and physically more imposing.
In round three the Liverpool man landed the most eye-catching shots of the fight so far, a strong right hand was followed moments later by a left hook. And it was the left hook that opened a gap between the two with Fowler landing another early in the fourth. O’Brien was struggling, and Fowler was still landing shots downstairs.
Fowler was going through the gears in the sixth. He caught a screw shot for his troubles but there was not enough on it to alter the trajectory of the fight. Then, no sooner than the bell to start to sixth had stopped chiming, it was all over.