Rule Britannia: Full undercard report / fighter quotes / photos
Jorge Linares successfully defended his WBC World Lightweight title in a helter-skelter clash with Kevin Mitchell at The O2 in London, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
The three-weight World champion was defending his belt for the first time but Mitchell looked set to take it from him, dropping the champion in the fifth, but terrible damage to Mitchell’s left eye hampered his attempts to win a World title at the third attempt, and when Linares dropped him in the tenth, referee Victor Loughlin stopped the contest with just three seconds left in the round – with Mitchell ahead on two cards and level on another.
Anthony Joshua MBE became the first fighter to stop Kevin Johnson inside two rounds in an awesome display of power at The O2, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
Joshua blasted away at the American from the off, hurting Johnson immediately and then flooring him late in the round. Johnson was down once again on the bell but gallantly came out for the second stanza – but he only managed 80 seconds of the round before referee Ian John Lewis spared the American – who had never previously been stopped – from further punishment.
The 24 year old Londoner made it 13-0 and 13 KOs in the paid ranks inside three rounds – and Joshua said he will be back in the venue in the autumn to cause more havoc in the Heavyweight scene.
“I come out here and perform in front of everyone who comes to support me,” said Joshua. “This is what it is about.
“I have travelled about so many places with Matchroom but The O2 is my home and it is filling up more and more every time.
“This is what I am here to do. My coach really drills me in the gym n it is only right the hard work pays off. I want to dedicate that to Mitchell and John Ryder. We all share a changing room. It is an individual sport but they are my stable mates. They will bounce back
“People say that guy will test me, this guy will test me. It is only going to get tough and I will fight tougher opponents, the game doesn’t stop.”
Lee Selby ripped the IBF World Featherweight title from Evgeny Gradovich with a stunning display at The O2 in London, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
Selby ran rings around the Russian champion from the off, peppering him with classy shots from all angles, picking off the relentless come-forward visitor at will and making him miss on his rare attacks.
Gradovich – defending his crown for the fifth time and coming into the fight as the IBF boxer of the year – sustained a bad cut by his right eye from an accidental head-clash and Selby’s constant heavy blows made that gash worse and worse by the round, with the referee halting the contest in the eighth round.
The fight went to the judges but the dominance of Selby was clear, and the judges agreed with cards of 79-73, 80-72, 79-73 naming Selby as the new World champion.
“I can’t explain how I feel,” said Selby. “I have been working for this for so long. I started boxing 20 years ago and had my first amateur fight 18 years ago. It means so much and I would like to dedicate this to my brother Michael who is always looking over me.
“When I go into a fight I go it to adapt. In for the first round I go behind the jab, see what they come with and I have that style where I can adapt. If I have to go forward I go forward or I can box on the back foot. I see what they come with, I listen to my corner and I box to my instructions
“I caught him and I wobbled him. I didn’t bother following up, I was going to break him down. He is a similar fighter to my last opponent Joel Brunker so I was planning on breaking him down but we had two accidental clashes of heads and that stopped the fight.”
Dave Ryan beat John Wayne Hibbert – round nine stoppage (2.00 mins)
Dave Ryan successfully defended his Commonwealth Light Welterweight title by stopping John Wayne Hibbert with a brilliant turn-around performance in a stunning show opener at The O2.
Ryan was dropped by Hibbert in the third round clipping short right and again in the fifth round from three shuddering rights to the body.
But the Derby man rallied instantly and turned the fight on its head, with a great seventh round rocking Hibbert but the he responds in kind before putting Hibbert down twice and giving referee Victor Loughlin no option but to stop the contest.
“I’ve got a big heart,” said Ryan, who takes Hibbert’s WBC International title too. “It was such a tough fight He caught me with a great body shot and I had had some rib problems, so that was hard to come back from. He hurt me in every rounds.
I’m taking my boxing more seriously now and I am working on my power, so it’s onwards and upwards from here. I will see what is out there.”
Scotty Cardle beat Craig Evans on points 116-112, 116-112, 116-112
Scotty Cardle landed the British Lightweight title in a gruelling contest with Craig Evans.
Cardle was on top in the early section of the bout but Evans was a constant threat in the fight, but the Lytham St. Annes man kept the Welshman at bay and was awarded the belt by four points on all three judges’ scorecards to bring yet another British title into Joe Gallagher’s gym.
“I knew I was going to go down to the wire,” said Cardle. “He’s a tough man and I have nothing but respect for him – I went into the last round thinking I needed to win it, it felt like that close a contest. I don’t think I slowed down, I just think he is a hard guy and he has got a great engine – but so have I.
“I am right in the mix but I am not going to speed things up too fast – we’ll talk defences with Eddie soon but I am going to enjoy this tonight.”
Nick Blackwell beat John Ryder – round seven stoppage (2.36 mins)
Nick Blackwell won the British Middleweight title at the third attempt, stopping John Ryder with a seventh round onslaught.
Ryder had the better of the opening half of the fight, but Blackwell rocked him with a big right hand and leapt all over the Londoner, hurting him immediately with a left and then pouring on the pressure to force Howard Foster to jump in and stop the action.
“I can’t remember the last time I cried but I couldn’t help it then,” said Blackwell. “I’ve worked so hard to get this belt, I always feel that I can come on strong in the late rounds. I don’t think John was in a position to defend himself but he’s a proud man and he wanted to fight on and so would I if the tables were turned.”