Light-middleweight Sam O’Maison stole the show at the Rotherham Magna Centre on February 6th, with a vicious knockout of Northeast rival Anthony Hardy.
The match between the southpaw pair looked a solid 50-50 encounter, with both just a single defeat on their 12 (O’Maison) and nine (Hardy) fight ledgers entering the contest, but O’Masion quickly made a mockery of the form book.
Just 30 seconds from the first bell, after a couple of brief exchanges, the Sheffield ‘Sensation’ unleashed a blinding backhand that pole axed Hardy, resulting in ringside medics rushing to his aid. Thankfully, the County Durham man was soon back on his feet and congratulating O’Maison on his fifth career KO.
After picking up an army of new fans on the back of his performance, Sam is next in action on April 2nd at the Magna where he gets the chance to right the only wrong on his record by facing previous conqueror – Worcester’s Michael Mooney.
Also on this Dennis Hobson and Asif Vali co-promotion, Leeds’ Reece Cartwright moved to 11-0 (5 KOs) by stopping Sergei Melis in four rounds. Over in the first from a heavy body shot, Melis could have been forgiven for taking a full count but battled back to give Cartwright a decent workout. After going over twice more in the fourth session though, the man-in-middle wisely decided the Estonian had earned his wages and called a halt to proceedings.
After suffering defeat in October 2015 to Thomas Essomba for the vacant Commonwealth flyweight title, Waleed Din got back to winning ways by outpointing Stefan Slavchev over six rounds. The Sheffield man had far too much for his Bulgarian opponent, picking up a 60-54 victory and moving his record to 8-1(5).
Also on the bill:
Bolton’s Osman Aslam improved to 3-0, by comfortably out pointing Craig Derbyshire 40-37. Osman, returning to the ring after an eight-month layoff, improved his timing and accuracy as the bout progressed and looks a prospect for the future.
Welterweight Leon Field, from Chesterfield, remained unbeaten and moved to 3-0 by securing a 40-36 victory over ‘Mr Reliable’ Kristian Laight. Nuneaton’s Laight, who has only been stopped five times in over 200 defeats, proved to be as durable and cagey as ever, although did catch a couple of flush shots from Field during the four-threes.
Sheffield’s Razaq Najib had his hands full against Hull’s Luke Fash over four rounds. The contest was to-and-fro with both landing clean, but Najib had his glove raised at the final bell with the referee deeming him a slender 39-38 victor. Najib remain unbeaten at 5-0 (1).
Also in a close tussle was Doncaster super-bantam Tom Bell. Up against another unbeaten fighter in Glaswegian Scott McCormack, neither gave an inch as they had the crowd on their feet in a lively battle. In a frenetic four-rounder, Bell was given a 39-37 verdict to win his second pro outing. McCormack moves to 4-1-1.
Sheffield pair Kyle Yousaf and Loua Nassa both recorded 40-36 wins over Sergey Tasimov and Jordan Turner respectively. While, Leeds’ ‘Magic Man’ Zahid Hussain had some uncomfortable moments against Latvia’s Dmitrijs Gutmans before extending his unbeaten record to 6-0 (1) with a 79-73 win.
“What a fantastic way to start 2016,” said promoter Hobson after the show. “There’s always a great atmosphere at the Magna, and with such a big crowd tonight it was electric at times. Sam O’Maison’s performance was pretty special. Obviously he caught Hardy cold, but I think that shot would have had the same effect whenever it had landed.
“I’m also pleased with the other kids on the show. Waleed Din is back in the swing of things with a win, and we’ll be looking to move him back up in championship class again soon. Osman Aslam looked like he could be one to watch in the future, and Razaq Najib and Loua Nassa both had convincing wins. I also though Reece Cartwright did well to stop an opponent who is usually very durable.
“Our next show at the Magna on April 2nd is looking like it could be one of the best shows of the year. We’ve got Sam Sheedy against Danny Butler, Muheeb Fazeldin in a Commonwealth title shot against Klaas Mboyane, Liam Cameron in with the very tough Jahmaine Smyle, and Sam O’Maison who lived up to his ‘Sensational’ nickname tonight.
“I’m excited with the way things are going, and I can see future champions in lots of different weights. The quality of our shows are a testament to the strength of depth we have in our stable, and we’re getting great support and terrific feedback from boxing fans across the country.”