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Callum Smith moves up to light-heavyweight with a frightening knockout win over Lenin Castillo

Callum Smith
Callum Smith returns after Canelo Alvarez loss on the Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk undercard. John Dennen reports from Tottenham

LIVERPOOL’S Callum Smith moved up to light-heavyweight and halted Lenin Castillo with a frightening knockout early in the second round on the undercard of Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk at the Tottenham stadium in London on Saturday (September 25).

A powerful right cross connected and Castillo slammed down into the canvas, his legs shuddering. He needed medical attention immediately and referee Bob Williams waved the bout off, 55 seconds into the second, so paramedics could promptly attend to the stricken fighter.

As well as this being Smith’s first professional contest at 175lbs and his first bout back since losing to Canelo Alvarez in December, it had been his first bout with Buddy McGirt in his corner. Smith had looked sharp, catching the man from the Dominican Republic with fast right crosses in the first round, taking jabs down to the body and whipping harsh left hooks into Castillo’s trunk.

There were no celebrations from him afterwards though. Smith waited somberly as the medics strapped Castillo into a stretcher and carried him out of the ring. The fighter was taken to hospital immediately but was reportedly conscious and responsive afterwards.

With a huge roar from the crowd to greet him, Hackney’s Lawrence Okolie met Montenegro’s Dilan Prasovic in a cruiserweight clash for the Londoner’s WBO belt. Quickly Okolie found his way through with power punches. A right cross stunned Prasovic in the second round. He dropped his guard, dazed for an instant and Okolie whipped in an uppercut to drop the visitor quickly to his knees. Clambering back to his feet nevertheless Prasovic was in trouble. He still lunged for Okolie but Lawrence stepped out, had Prasovic out of his position and slammed another right into the side of his head. Okolie was in charge now and in the third, as Prasovic tried to get to grips with him, Okolie swung a sweeping left hook into his side. Prasovic stumbled away, slumping down, in pain, and referee Steve Gray counted him out at 1-57 of the third.

Well supported Albanian welterweight Florian Marku overcame Maxim Prodan on a split decision after their 10-rounder. Marku had an edge in mobility and was a shade more accurate. He edged back as the aggressive Prodan came on, making space for repeated jabs and harder crosses, particularly when he switched southpaw. Prodan hurled flurries at him when Marku waited on the ropes but apart from a particularly hefty left hook that momentarily buzzed Marku, a major breakthrough eluded him.

Campbell Hatton, the son of British boxing legend Ricky, struggled to contain Spain’s 2-4 Sonni Martinez, shipping shots. Even though ringsiders saw it for Martinez, referee Marcus McDonnell gave a 58-57 points win to Hatton after he went through a punishing six rounder.

American middleweight Chris Ousley opened the show, outpointing Khasan Baysangurov over 10 rounds.

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