LENNOX CLARKE emphatically burst the bubble of Scottish hope Willy Hutchinson with a fifth-round stoppage at the Copper Box Arena that brought him the vacant British and Commonwealth super-middleweight titles. Frank Warren had described Hutchinson as a new Joe Calzaghe and the 22-year-old’s collapse appeared to be a shock to everyone apart from the new champion and his Black Country Boxing team, headed by trainer Errol Johnson.
Exactly as he predicted, Clarke, a muscular 29-year-old from Halesowen, beaten only by Lerrone Richards on a split in his 17-1-1 career, walked through the punches that had felled or discouraged Hutchinson’s previous 13 opponents, got on top of him and stopped him.
The second round was the turning point. Clarke (12st) stayed on his feet – just – after Hutchinson unloaded combinations and at the bell, the starlet from Carstairs headed back to his corner with a cut on his left eyebrow. This was an adversity Hutchinson (11st 13lbs) wasn’t prepared for and Clarke and his corner sensed it.
Hutchinson looked to win rounds at range and in second gear – and Clarke wouldn’t let him. He stayed on the Scot’s chest and when Hutchinson got sloppy on the ropes, Clarke smashed a clean right hand off his chin that took everything out of him. Blank-eyed, Hutchinson slid along the ropes and towards the canvas and Clarke helped him on his way with two more booming blows, another right followed by a left hook.
Up quickly, Hutchinson didn’t know where he was and referee Bob Williams signalled the finish after 1-05 of the round.
Peacock punching machine Louie ‘Loco’ Lynn (8st 13lbs) stepped up to championship level and churned out non-stop punches to outpoint Sebastian Perez (8st 12lbs) unanimously over 10 rounds. Bob Williams had Lynn winning 100-91, while Howard Foster and Terry O’Connor had it closer, scoring 98-92 and 97-93 respectively. The rounds the Spaniard won on the cards of Mr Foster and Mr O’Connor were surely in the second half.
As always, Lynn started at full throttle, but Perez wouldn’t go away and had better moments in the fifth and sixth rounds before a pivotal seventh when the 25 year old from Bermondsey seized back control.
Nathan Gorman did what good heavyweights do and got rid of 38 year-old Pavel Sour (16st 8lbs) early. The 24-year-old from Nantwich had Sour over five times before referee Bob Williams waved it off 39 seconds into the second round of a scheduled 10.
Filip Hrgovic and Hughie Fury stopped the Czech in the first and third rounds respectively and Gorman (19st 6lbs) went looking for the stoppage.
Sour (16st 8lbs) punched with him and it was Gorman who made the breakthrough, landing a short right during an exchange that had Sour looking shaky before dropping him with a stiff, well-timed jab. Up quickly, Sour was down twice before the bell from clobbering punches. The spirited Sour met Gorman in the centre of the ring at the start of the second and the exchange ended the moment Gorman found his jaw with a sweeping right hand.
The shot put him on his back and though he got up again, Gorman was too strong and after another knockdown, Mr Williams decided he had seen enough. Gorman is now 18-1, Sour dips to 13-4.
Further down the line we may see hard-hitting lightweights Mark Chamberlain and Sam Noakes meet in a fight that has the makings of a classic.
The eight-rounder between Portsmouth southpaw Chamberlain (9st 12lbs) and Jordan Ellison (9st 12lbs) enabled fans to draw a comparison.
Noakes mauled Jordan Ellison in five rounds last August, while Chamberlain took just 83 seconds to blow away the 25 year old from Seaham, County Durham.
The shot that brought Chamberlain his fifth one-round win in eight fights was a crunching left hook to the ribs that left Ellison on his knees in agony for way beyond the ‘10’ count of referee Marcus McDonnell.
Until the day before the show, Eithan James, Northampton’s former outstanding junior and youth amateur, was boxing Des Newton in his first six rounder.
Newton was ruled out and at the last moment, Wolverhampton’s Clayton Bricknell (10st) stepped in.
Bricknell (3-2-1) came with ambition and referee Bob Williams gave him a round and a share of another, scoring 59-56.
James is now 5-0.
There was a shock in the show opener, Andrius Ruzas (14st 12ozs) laying out towering Erith debutant Stephen Adentan (14st 5lbs) in the second of a scheduled four threes at cruiserweight.
Ruzas, a Lithuanian based in Hull whose win on his 1-2 record was over 12-0 Mark Little on his pro debut, beat Adentan to the punch with a right hand that left him flat on his back.
Referee Marcus McDonnell completed the count at 1-51.
Eighteen-year-old Umar Khan (9st 8lbs) had a better debut outpointing Levi Dunn (8st 12lbs0 by 39-36 over four threes.