Damon Jones came away with victory, and a nasty head wound, in his English Middleweight Title Eliminator clash with Grant Cunningham on Saturday evening.
The encounter, at the top of Black Country Boxing’s ‘Heir To The Throne’ bill in Cannock, was stopped midway through the fifth round after an accidental clash of heads left Jones with a cut above his right eyebrow.
As the fight had gone past four rounds, referee Shaun Messer took the decision to halt proceedings as a result of the cut and award Jones a 48-47 victory.
The Leeds man had started the brighter and dominated the opening two rounds. By the third, Stafford’s Cunningham began to show signs of adjusting to his southpaw opponent and, with Jones beginning to tire, had the better of the fourth and, before it was cut short, fifth stanza.
It was hard on Cunningham, and the paying public, as the fight was beginning to come to life. However, on the basis of what had gone before, Jones was the rightful victor. Had the fight continued, that may not have been the case. However, unless there is a re-match, highly unlikely in an Eliminator, with no real incentive for the victor, we will never know.
There was better news for fellow Stafford scrapper, Rob Hunt. The 29 year-old ensured it was third time lucky in his quest for a British Masters Title when he defeated Melksham’s Liam Richards to be crowned a British Bronze Masters Welterweight Champion.
Much the bigger man, Hunt boxed at range and had Richards on the end of his jab all night to record a shut-out 80-72 points victory.
After Fergus Taylor’s late pull-out on medical reasons, Midlands Area Light Welterweight Champion, Luke Paddock, stepped in with ‘Fonz’ Alexander Anderson over six rounds. Anderson took the fight at short notice and earned plenty of admirers, if not points, against a slick and composed Paddock. The Walsall man boxed well behind a solid jab, dropping just one round to record a 59-55 win – his tenth straight professional victory.
Paddock’s previous victim, Josh McLaren, bounced back from that defeat to impressively stop Birmingham hardman Jason Nesbitt. The Stoke boxer looked focussed and unforgiving as he bashed Nesbitt around the ring throughout before the veteran decided he’d taken enough punishment less than a minute into the fifth round.
Elsewhere, Stourbridge’s Steven ‘Fierce’ Pearce made a welcome ring return as he blew away the cobwebs to record a 40-36 victory over Hereford’s Dean Evans. Fellow Stourbridge boxer, Kevin McAuley, gave undefeated Leeds prospect, Stevi Mennell, a tough work out, which wasn’t reflected in the 40- 36 scoring.
Completing the card, there were wins for Birmingham duo Sean Davis and Waqas Mohammed. Super featherweight Davis wowed his army of supporters with a spiteful four-round shut-out against Latvian Janis Puksins what super feather, whilst lightweight Mohammed recorded a 40-37 win over Reading hardman, Ibrar Riyaz.