Hometown hero Luke Paddock got the victory at the top of BCB Promotions’ ‘Made In The Black Country’ show at Walsall Town Hall on Saturday evening, writes James Eley.
Paddock picked up the win in his 20th professional fight despite being frustrated by Tornike Tortladze’s almost constant clinching.
The 25-year-old did show flashes of class but his quality was mostly suffocated by the Georgian’s tactics which made the contest more akin to a grappling match.
‘Cool Hand’ landed three and four punch combinations and worked the body well at times when Tortladze was not being ripped off Paddock by referee Shaun Messer.
The Bloxwich boxer enjoyed more success in the later part of the contest. Both fighters traded in the final round and Paddock was getting the better of the 22-year-old in all the exchanges.
Tortladze’s game-plan made it a difficult night for Paddock but he kept composed and managed to record a landslide 60-54 victory.
James Beech Junior made it to three unbeaten with a disciplined showing against Kvisha Gvashvilli. The home fighter – also from Bloxwich – darted in and out of range and showed a solid defence in front of a raucous support who chanted his name throughout the contest.
The 20-year-old looked relaxed and he opened up his opponent’s nose in the second round with a shot that left both fighters smeared in the Georgian’s blood.
Beech worked behind the jab before offloading with combinations. The unbeaten prospect kept calm and patient when Gvashvilli tried to goad him into being reckless and he was good value for the 40-36 result.
Leicester’s Sam Bowen sent his opponent Lorenzo Parra crashing to the canvas four times in the opening two minutes as he recorded a first round stoppage.
The 25-year-old landed with two left hands to the body which had Parra – a former world champion – down twice, before a further blow to the head had Parra take a knee for the third time.
The Venezuelan rose again but by now the result was all but secured and ‘Bullet’ connected again seconds later to put Parra on the canvas for the final time as referee for the evening Shaun Messer waved the fight off.
West Bromwich’s hard-hitting Josh Stokes continued his impressive start to professional boxing with the dismantling of Surrey’s Richard Harrison.
The 23-year-old landed flush to the head and the body in the early stages and he stunned Harrison with an over-the-top right in the second round.
The light heavyweight worked the angles well in the third and connected with a number of damaging combinations. Harrison caught Stokes with a couple of uppercuts but it did nothing to curb Stokes’ enthusiasm as he piled on the pressure.
Stokes bullied the experienced 32-year-old for much of the contest and he continued the onslaught in the final round to complete a powerhouse performance which earned him a 40-36 win.
Swadlincote super lightweight, Connor Parker, recorded a fourth straight victory as he defeated Sheffield’s Qasim Hussain. Parker, composed throughout, eased to a shut-out points win.
Liverpool cruiserweight Craig Glover, with Tony Bellew and Derry Mathews in tow, bounced back from a first professional defeat to blow away Eric Mokonzo. The 25 year-old scouser stopped Mokonzo in the opening round.
Ledbury super lightweight, Alex Florence, made it two wins on the bounce since turning professional as he eased to a 40-35 victory over Melksham’s Liam Richards.