A SHINING performance in an eliminator for the English lightweight title on this Stefy Bull promotion at The Dome saw Rossington’s Maxi Hughes, in his first outing for 15 months and on top from the outset, hand Stoke’s Kieran McLaren the maiden defeat of his 14-bout career and a stoppage one at that.
The finish came 18 seconds shy of the end of the fourth when the visitor from the Potteries, already cut on the right eyebrow, was dropped for the second time in quick succession at the conclusion of a prolonged bout of pressure.
Referee John Latham deemed enough was enough despite Kieran regaining his feet.
I wasn’t overly surprised when Eastbourne’s overmatched Scott Hillman, winless in 42, was halted early by Sheffield’s former Central Area super-middleweight champ Christian Kinsiona, who had stopped two of his last three.
Fancifully slated for six, it was done and dusted in a little over two when the out-of-his-depth but still-gutsy visitor, having been floored twice in the second, was dropped again by a pair of rights. It was sufficient cause for referee Jamie Kirkpatrick to halt it with the round just 50 seconds old.
Bentley southpaw Jamie Hughes was an early winner too in a scheduled four overseen by Mr Latham when, having dominated the opener against Newark’s Zach Thompson, he finished it with 78 seconds of the second remaining. It was waved off as Zach wilted under fire in his own corner.
A trio of fours the first two refereed by Kirkpatrick and the other by Latham resulted in shut-out home wins with Wakefield welter Dom Hunt and Doncaster novice Jack Roberts overcoming Warminster’s Paul Cummings and Gloucester’s Andy Harris respectively. Meanwhile, another ‘Donny’ man, Lewis Booth, proved too much for Driffield’s experienced Danny Little.
Local lightweight James Flint saw his early lead over Lee Connelly disappear when a spirited late fightback from the Derbyshire man saw him take a 38-38 draw from Mr Kirkpatrick.
The Verdict Moving up from super-feather has done Hughes the world of good.
Maxi Hughes (134lbs 10oz), 19-4-2 (4), w rsf 4 Kieran McLaren (133lbs 6oz), 12-1-1; Christian Kinsiona (169 1/2lbs), 8-1-1 (3), w rsf 3 Scott Hillman (169lbs 9oz), 0-43; Jamie Hughes (193lbs), 8-0 (2), w tco 2 Zach Thompson (198lbs), 0-4; James Flint (139lbs), 6-0-1 (2), drew pts 4 Lee Connelly (139lbs 6oz), 7-46-4; Lewis Booth (156lbs 2oz), 10-0, w pts 4 Danny Little (155lbs 5oz), 8-59-2 (1); Dom Hunt (150 1/4lbs), 4-0 (1), w pts 4 Paul Cummings (155lbs 3oz), 2-35; Jack Roberts (141 1/2lbs), 2-0, w pts 4 Andy Harris (136lbs), 3-72-1.