Nathan Heaney claimed the British middleweight title with a brilliant, dogged showing against Denzel Bentley.
The Stoke man, who brought thousands of fans to the Arena in Manchester, dug in when Bentley attacked and got on his bike when needed.
Nathan Heaney wins
Bentley was certainly not the force he could be. But Heaney took full advantage to win a majority decision on the cards.
Judges returned with scores of 114-114 and 116-113, 117-111 in favor of Bentley, who sent the crowd into raptures.
Nick Ball put on a relentless pressure performance to defeat former world champion Isaac Dogboe. The Liverpool man never stopped working as he earned a crack at the WBC featherweight title.
Dogboe showed flashes of his brilliance at times. However, Ball did his best work when countering Dogboe’s work.
Ball was shaken more than once but managed to put Dogboe on the floor before seeing out the victory. After twelve, scores read 119-108, 118-109, and 116-111 in favor of Ball.
Rey Vargas is the current holder of the WBC featherweight strap. The solid Mexican would provide a gatekeeping chance for Ball to prove he’s got the skills to be a bonafide world champion.
However, Brandon Figueroa, the interim ruler, is a more likely opponent for Ball.
Liam Davies made it seven knockouts from 15 wins by stopping Italian Vincenzo La Femina in round five.
Davies took advantage of La Femina’s open guard each time he threw a shot or moved in. However, it wasn’t all plain sailing.
La Femina put Davies on the canvas in round three after suffering a knockdown himself. After tightening his guard, Davies had enough to get the job done.
Solomon Dacres moved to 8-0 and in the process, retained his English heavyweight title against Michael Webster.
Dacres saw off the previously undefeated Webster but made heavy weather of the whole event.
Looking far from the finished article, the underwhelming Dacres claimed victory on the judges’ scorecards even for a British championship opportunity.
One read a draw at 95-95. The other two saw it for Dacres 96-93 and 96-94.
Essuman vs Scarff
Ekow Essuman surrendered his undefeated run alongside his British and Commonwealth welterweight titles to challenger Harry Scarff.
Using his range and cute boxing skills, Scarff got his tactics spot on with trainer Clifton Mitchell. Despite leading on the cards by at least a couple of rounds between the tenth and eleventh, Mitchell told Scarff he needed the last two rounds to make sure he saw out the victory.
A close contest came down to his work rate. In the end, Scarff could hear ‘and the new’ after scores of 117-112, 116-113, and 115-113.
Ema Kozin claimed the vacant WBC and WBO super welterweight titles following a ten-round battle with Hannah Rankin.
Scotland’s Rankin looked to have got on top overall. However, Kozin took the belts on the scorecards. The result read 96-94 for Rankin and 98-92, 96-94 for Kozin.
Nathaniel “The Nightmare” Collins retained his British and Commonwealth titles after a twelve-round battle against Zak Miller.
Collins did the job via majority decision after a close and entertaining slugfest. After the final bell, one judge carded a 114-114 draw.
Two others overruled that score as they both saw it 115-113 for Collins.
Early action from the AO Arena saw Amaar Akbar score a six-round points win over Christian Flores. While Callum Thompson moved to 8-0 with a similar victory over Joshua Ocampo.