NEWARK light-heavyweight Chad Sugden shrugged off the disappointment of not fighting for the Midlands Area title to secure a convincing 78-74 victory over tough Lancastrian Luke Blackledge at the Harvey Hadden.

This eight-rounder was a massive step-up for Sugden against former Commonwealth super-middleweight champion Blackledge, who had also tested Callum Smith for the British title in December 2016.

The Newark man dominated the early rounds with his superior work-rate, which included Blackledge going to ground early on in the second. But referee Kevin Parker ruled it a slip.

Rounds four and five were dominated by Blackledge as he shrugged off fast starts from Sugden to outwork the Newark boxer. This was despite Sugden catching Blackledge with some hurtful combinations in the fifth.

The final rounds were Sugden’s as both fighters gave their all in this thrilling contest and referee Kevin Parker delighted Sugden’s army of supporters when the result was announced.

Performance of the night came from Nottingham’s former GB boxer and current English welterweight title-holder Ekow Essuman. He scored a sixth-round victory over veteran William Warburton, who failed to come out for round seven (in an eight).

You have to go back to October 2010 for the last time the awkward Warburton failed to hear the final bell. Essuman will be looking to fight for the British title, or at the very least a final eliminator, next time out.

Ilkeston’s Kyle Hughes prevailed comfortably 60-54 over Islington’s Jordan Grannum, who despite this being loss number 55 has yet to be stopped in pro ranks.

Nottingham’s Josh Gooding dazzled home fans on his debut with a convincing 40-36 victory over tough Lithuanian Arvydas Trizno.

There were also shut-out victories (over four rounds) for Beeston’s Joe Underwood Hughes and Heanor’s Jack Hutsby over Lewisham-based Swede Edward Bjorklund and Chessington’s Richard Harrison respectively.

The Verdict Sugden and Essuman look destined for bigger things after winning on this entertaining Scott Calow promotion.

Chad Sugden (174lbs 10oz), 10-1 (4), w pts 8 Luke Blackledge (174lbs 14oz), 26-7-2 (9); Ekow Essuman (151lbs 10oz), 11-0 (4), w rtd 6 William Warburton (154 1/4lbs), 26-153-10 (5); Kyle Hughes (159lbs), 2-0, w pts 6Jordan Grannum (160lbs), 5-55-2; Joe Underwood-Hughes (130lbs 6oz), 2-0 (1), w pts 4 Edward Bjorklund (131lbs 2oz) 1-23-1 (1); Josh Gooding(162lbs 14oz), 1-0, w pts 4 Arvydas Trizno (158lbs 6oz) 27-88-3 (7); Jack Hutsby (168lbs 10oz), 2-0-1, w pts 4 Richard Harrison (180lbs 14oz), 3-36.