AJ undercard results: Fury, Bakole win as Marku is robbed in draw

Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev

Hughie Fury overcome a gaping cut as he defeated Mariusz Wach on points to keep alive his hopes of another World Heavyweight Title fight.

The 26-year-old suffered a nasty gash over his left eye, but still managed to control Wach with his clever skills to earn a unanimous decision win with scores of 100-90,100-90 and 99-91, continuing his climb back up the rankings.

“Everything is moving in the right direction,” Fury told Matchroom afterwards. “I did rush my work a little bit. I was hurting Wach with the right hand. I was getting to him. As I threw the right hand in the fourth there was a clash of the heads as he came in. I couldn’t see out of the eye at all. I went back into the corner and my dad told me to get back to my boxing. Wach is a tough man. We just relaxed and flowed back into it, and picked him off.

“I don’t have any doubt in Kerry Kayes. He’s a guardian angel. As soon as I got back to my corner he got to work. He deserves all of the credit in the world. I’ve been in with everyone, and to be honest with you, I was like a boy against men. Now I’m a man people can see a big difference, and I’m coming. This is just the start. People will see a lot more to come from me.”

10 x 3 mins vacant WBC International Heavyweight Title

MARTIN BAKOLE WUD10 (98-92, 97-93, 96-94) v SERGEY KUZMIN
(Kananga, Congo) (Saint Petersburg, Russia)

Martin Bakole outpointed Russia’s former amateur standout Sergey Kuzmin to land the vacant WBC International Heavyweight Title.

Despite being 6/1 to knock Bakole out with sports betting bookmakers, Kuzmin was always in the fight. For the latest odd on boxing, you can check the website here for more.

The Congolese fighter, who is based in Scotland with trainer Billy Nelson, neutralised Kuzmin’s aggression with his accurate jab as he earned a unanimous decision with scores of 98-92, 97-93 and 96-94.

“I want to thank god for this big victory,” Bakole told Matchroom. “To be honest, I’m not happy. I didn’t work the way I was supposed to work. I did three weeks in the gym. We kept that a secret. I was not 100% fit. I won the belt and I’m now WBC International Champion. It was a tough fight. if you look at round 2, I was close to knocking him. He survived because he’s a big guy. I needed to win this belt for my baby. I’m ready now. I’m in the top 10. I’m ready to face anybody. I’m going to see my family and then come back quickly to get in the gym to prepare for next year.

“I want anyone. I’m ready to face anyone. I’m not in this business to play around. I’m in this business to win and I have a belt now. I told Michael Hunter to watch this fight. My next one is going to be him! Michael Hunter, look at my eyes; let’s do it again. This time I will beat him, believe me. I made a mistake, and now I’ve fixed my mistakes. I’m improving, and he can see that himself. Anthony Joshua is going to beat Kubrat Pulev, believe me!”

10 x 3 mins Super-Welterweight contest
KIERON CONWAY WUD10 (100-89 x2, 100-90) v MACAULAY MCGOWAN
(Northampton, England) (Wythenshawe, England)

Northampton Super-Welterweight contender Kieron Conway improved his unbeaten record to 16-1-1 (3 KOs) with a dominant points with over late stand-in Macaulay McGowan.

Conway was originally slated to fight Frenchman Souleymane Cissokho before the Anthony Joshua-managed fighter was forced to pullout last week.

‘Too Class’ floored McGowan as he sealed a unanimous decision victory with scores of 100-90, 100-89 and 100-89, before calling out the winner of the Ted Cheeseman vs. James Metcalf fight that is slated to take place early next year.

“I’m content with the performance to be fair,” Conway told Matchroom afterwards. “I just did what I had to do. He was tough as anything. I hit him with everything that I possibly could have. I thank him a lot for stepping in at such short notice. He gave it everything and made it a good fight. As soon as these sharp, accurate and hard punches land, people go on the defensive. It make it a hell of a hard night for them. They just don’t want to keep taking them all night. I was really frustrated about the Cissokho fight, but I’m happy I still got to fight in the end on such a big stage. Job done now and we move on.

“I’m very grateful to get out twice this year. I feel like I’m one of the privileged ones. Especially this kind of opportunity on the big stage. Hopefully there was a good bit of exposure there for me. It was actually quite refreshing having people there shouting. It was nice to have them back. I’m very confident. People underestimate me. As soon as they take one or two stiff shots they just want to make it a hard night and survive. Hopefully I get the winner of Ted Cheeseman vs. James Metcalf. We’re all shouting for that though. I guess we’ll all have to wait our turn. I’m coming, and I’m not going anywhere. I want anyone who wants it. I’m not ducking or avoiding anyone.”

8 x 3 mins International Welterweight contest
FLORIAN MARKU v JAMIE STEWART DRAW (76-76)
(Lushnje, Albania) (Longton, England)

Florian Marku vented his frustration after he was forced to settle for a controversial draw on his Matchroom debut, despite flooring Jamie Stewart in the second round and forcing the pace throughout the fight.
The London-based Albanian has been calling for a Welterweight clash with stablemate Conor Benn and Dillian Whyte’s Chris Kongo, but endured the first blemish on his eight-fight record after referee Marcus McDonnell scored it a 76-76 draw.

A disappointed Marku told Matchroom: “This is my life. They give a draw on my record. I didn’t deserve it. I was beating this guy every round. Congratulations to him, he accepted the fight on four days’ notice. He had a tough head. This wasn’t a draw. I put him down in the second or third round. I was outboxing him. He was running sometimes and he was making the jab. What else did he do? He punched me in my guard, nothing else.

“He can take many punches. He is a tough opponent. This is a shame, a shame for the referee that gave me this draw. I don’t know what I can say. It’s a shame for the sport. They are trying to ruin my career. I feel so disappointed with this decision. The referee doesn’t like me. That is the only justification for this. Maybe because I am from Albania and my opponent was from England? This is my life. He couldn’t handle the pressure and he took many shots to the head. This wasn’t my best performance. I wasn’t as powerful as usual but I was beating him.”


8 x 3 mins Super-Bantamweight contest
QAIS ASHFAQ WTKO4 (0:22) v ASHLEY LANE
(Leeds, England) (Bristol, England)

Leeds Super-Bantamweight Qais Ashfaq bounced back from his first loss in the pros with a fourth-round stoppage of Bristol’s Ashley Lane.

The 27-year-old 258 MGT talent suffered a points loss to Marc Leach last time out at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes, but got his career back on track with an impressive win over former Commonwealth Champion Lane.

Ashfaq displayed far more aggression as he floored Lane in the first and third rounds before the fight was halted in the fourth, improving his record to 9-1 (4 KOs).

Speaking to Matchroom afterwards Ashfaq said: “It felt great. I was out here to prove a bit of a point, without letting that get into my head too much. I was here to do a job first and foremost. It was great to get the win, and in style. Ashley Lane came over to me just before the decision was announced and he said, ‘listen, I saw your last performance and that’s why I took this fight’. He wanted to see if it was just a bad performance or if I was just saying that. He told me that my last fight was just a bad performance and I’m going to go places. I was here to prove a point and I believe I’ve done that in style.

“I put him down twice before it was stopped. Just before the stoppage I was waiting for the ref. I was hitting him clean. The ref had to jump in at some point. The referee is there to protect his health. Ashley Lane is no mug, he’s had his best days at my weight. He’d only lost one of his last nine fights before this one, and that was a British Champion who stopped him in 12 rounds. I did it in 4. That’s a lot quicker. Two fights ago he boxed for the British and Commonwealth Titles at my weight. Two fights later I’ve just done that to him. I’m proving a point.”