Michael Hunter thought he’d scrapped his way to a potential world title shot with a WBA heavyweight eliminator triumph over Alexander Povetkin.
‘The Bounty’ began well, attempting to catch Povetkin cold in the early stages. The Russian came back over rounds three, four and five before the fight swung again Hunter’s way.
Hunter stayed on top for a couple of rounds before Povetkin once again enjoyed good sessions towards the end.
After twelve, judges carded 115-113 for either fighter before the third had it 114-114 – a draw. The pair may have to do it again in 2020.
Following a turbulent six months, Dillian Whyte eeked out a decision win over Mariusz Wach at three weeks’ notice.
‘The Bodysnatcher’ was returning from seeing his career under a cloud for a positive steroid test on the day of his fight with Oscar Rivas last summer.
After speaking to UKAD during an investigation, the UK Anti-Doping Agency accepted Whyte’s explanation and decided to drop the charges.
Whyte got his career back on track by going the full ten rounds with Wach and coming out 97-93 on all three cards.
Troubled on occasions, Whyte was the classier of the pair and now needs to get back in shape for sterner tests to come.
Filip Hrgovic made a successful defense of his fringe WBC against former world title challenger Eric Molina.
Returning after nine months following one fight in two years, ex-Anthony Joshua opponent Molina seemed out of sorts.
Down early, Molina looked as though he wanted out as he consistently complained of punches to the back of the head.
Dropped in the second, ‘The Drummer Boy’ had actually hurt Hrgovic before taking an eight count.
Still complaining of rabbit blows, Molina went down again in the third and never made it back up as Ian John Lewis counted ten.
Hrgovic is now 10-0 as the Croatian plots a course to a world title opportunity in 2020.
Amateur star Mahammadrasul Majidov continued his early professional progress with a beatdown of an out-of-depth Tom Little.
Majidov had far too much in his locker for Anthony Joshua’s sparring partner and was soundly taken out in round two.
Down once and in trouble, Little fought back until referee Steve Gray had seen enough.
As Little contemplates an eighth defeat from 18 bouts, the classy Majidov improves to 2-0.
In a float bout before the Dillian Whyte clash, Ivan ‘Hopey’ Price scored a third round stoppage on his pro debut.
Training under Dave Coldwell, ‘Drago’ is off and running in the pro ranks.
Zuhayr Al Qahtani became Saudi Arabia’s first rated champion when picking up the newly-formed WBC Middle East lightweight strap.
Al Qahtani, 30, made it eight straight victories in the paid ranks. Omar Dusary lost his unbeaten record when dropping an 80-72, 78-74 and 77-75 unanimous decision.
The opening bout of the evening saw lightweight Majid Al Naqbi move to 4-0 in the pro ranks.
Al Naqbi stopped Ilia Beruashvili in the third round at the 23 year-old from Dubai maintained his perfect record.