On Saturday evening, at the York Hall in London, TRAD TKO supremo Johnny Eames made his long awaited debut as a promoter, and boy did he do it in style.
The esteemed Mr. Eames pulled out all the stops to ensure the fans in attendance a night of boxing they are likely never to forget.
The mouth watering line up was headed up by former two weight British and World Champion Colin Lynes, against Beka Sutidze, with current English Middleweight Champion and former World Champ Qato Kreshnik, in a titanic battle with former British title challenger Max Maxwell, as main support.
The undercard was featured some of the UKs top prospects, including Lewis Pettitt, Adam Dingsdale, Matt McCarthy and Festim Lama, as well as the pro debut of two time Lithuanian Amateur Heavyweight Champion Paulius Kasiulevicius.
There would have also been further top prospects in action, but the sensational Freddie Turner had to pull out due to a chest infection and exciting heavyweight Tom Little didnt get medical clearance in time to fight.
Anyway enough scene setting, believe me this show was that good it doesnt need any.
Its been a year since Colin Lynes was last in action, so his legion of action starved fans raucously greeted him before breaking into a chorus of Lyno, Lyno, Lyno.
Which was in complete contrast to the reception Beka Sutidze received on his ring walk, which consisted of some polite clapping but not much else.
Round one started slow, with both protagonists taking a little time to feel out their opponent. The first real action came about midway through, when Lynes followed a stiff jab with a cracking right to the body.
Sutidze responds with a big right that Lynes ducks under before punishing the Georgian with another body shot.
Sutidze decides to go on the back foot, big mistake as this allows Lynes to control the proceedings with some excellent jabbing and the occasional combination, dont get me wrong it wasnt all one way traffic, just Sutidze was being outclassed by Lynes.
Round two is more of the same, although Sutidze does manage to stand his ground more, even catching the elusive Lynes once or twice. By midway through though Lynes began to exert his authority, seemingly landed crisp jabs and bruising body shots at will.
In the later part of the round Sutidze became more forceful in his attacks, even going toe-to-toe with Lynes for about five seconds or so, when Lynes lands a wickedly fast body shot that clearly hurts the Georgian.
Round three sees Sutidze taking more punishment, as Lynes gives an exhibition of his exquisite boxing skills, picking off the youngster at will.
Round four sees a change of tactics from Sutidze, which results in two public warnings for the youngster, the first for a head-butt and the second following his constant holding and pushing.
Lynes reaction is to calmly pick him off with solid jabs and the occasional right, however thats as far as it would get before Sutidze would grab hold, before leaning in and pushing Lynes back to the ropes.
At the end of the round referee Ritchie Davies made it clear that any more of the same and he will disqualify the Georgian.
Lynes puts in another round of exquisite boxing, even when Sutidze starts grabbing hold again, Lynes just steps around him and picks him off once more. This goes on for about three quarters of the round, when Sutidzes frustration gets the better of him and he starts the holding and pushing tactics once more.
Ritchie Davies is less than amused, finally pulling the youngster up for yet another public warning after what can only be described as a desperate attempt to push Lynes though the corner post!
I know that sounds a strange description but Sutidze grabs Lynes, after the Hornchurch man lands a beautiful combination, and literally rushes into him, pushing Lynes back quarterback style at speed into the corner.
It came as no surprise when Ritchie Davies patience finally came to an end in the sixth, instead of heeding the warnings issued earlier in the bout Sutidze constantly grabbed and held Lynes throughout the early part of the round, even so Lynes had still managed to land a few cracking shots to get the crowd up and cheering.
Its a real shame the fight had to end this way, it started out as such a promising fight, albeit one that Lynes was dominating with his superior technical skills.
Prior to Lynes-Sutidze, Tilburys highly popular Matt McCarthy took on Bognor Regis Liam Griffiths in a four rounder.
After a rather inactive first round from either boxer it soon turned into a one sided affair, firstly with the highly touted Essex teenager sending the Bognor man to the canvas.
From that moment on McCarthy controlled the bout with his vastly superior boxing skills. Round after round McCarthy stalked his prey, before letting rip with vicious combinations and big left hands.
Have to admit I was surprised this fight went the distance, as McCarthy seemed able to pick off Griffiths at will, but it did, ending with a tidy 40-35 points victory for McCarthy.
The fifth bout on the card featured English Middleweight Champion Kreshnik Qato against former British title challenger Max Maxwell.
The fight got off to a storming start, with Qato rushing in with a double handed attack to body and head. Maxwell calmly covered up, absorbing the barrage easily on his arms and gloves.
With the crowd urging him on Qato kept up the attack at a pace, unfortunately though he didnt appear to break through Maxwells fortress like defense at any point.
After patiently absorbing Qatos relentless onslaught for about a minute or so, Maxwell started to turn the fight around in his favour, letting rip with clinically accurate shots of his own.
By the end of the round the level of accuracy from the Brummie battlers shots was clear for all to see, as Qatos right eye was beginning to swell badly.
More of the same in the next couple of rounds, with Qato seemingly content to throw wild double handed shots, whilst the Brummie would counter with ridiculously accurate left hooks, which were causing further damage to the Albanians damaged right eye.
So much so that by round five referee Kieran McCann called for the doctor, as the eye had virtually swollen shut. The doctor gave the OK to continue and Qato stepped up the pressure on Maxwell.
Round six was a stormer, with the pair going toe-to-toe from start to finish, Even after the final bell the highly appreciative crowd were still on their feet cheering, rightly so in my opinion it was a cracking bout and would later be declared Fight of the Night.
When referee Kieran McCanns scorecard was read out as a 60-55 points victory for Kreshnik Qato I have to say I was mightily surprised, this was a much closer bout than that score indicates.
When I compared scorecards with Paul Zanon from the Daily Sport, we both had it as 59-58, myself in favour of Maxwell and Pauls in favour of Qato, thats how close the fight really was and I for one hope that theres a rematch in the near future and I want to be there.
Eriths Lewis Pettitt, put on a mightily impressive display against Venezuelan Jose Elizabeth. It would be fair to say that for the first minute or so it was a competitive fight, but after that it was all Pettitt.
From the second minute of the first round onwards Pettitt put on a masterclass, keeping Elizabeth on the back foot the youngster from Slough took the opportunity to showcase his extensive arsenal of punches.
In the later rounds Pettitt stepped up the pace and looked sure to bring the bout to an early end, however Elizabeth is made of sterner stuff and managed to see the fight out.
No surprise then that referee Ritchie Davies scored it a shutout 60-54 points victory for Pettitt.
Third fight of night see the professional debut of Paulius Kasiulevicius, in what to some in the business must have seemed a ridiculously matched bout against Frantisek Kynkal from Prague.
The reason I say this is usually a potential prospect, such as Kasiulevicius, would get a nice gentle introduction to the professional game, however Johnny Eames wasnt worried one iota with putting his boy in with Kynkal, even though the Czech is ranked #8 in his home country, was some three and half stone heavier than his boy and had stopped his last two opponents.
Johnnys faith in his young charges ability was proved a hundred percent correct, right from the off Kasiulevicius used his jab efficiently to keep the big man on the back foot, about a minute or so in Kasiulevicius let rip with another solid jab, this time though followed straight in with a lightning quick right, which sent the big Czech to the canvas for the first time.
Youve got to give Kynkal his due, not only did he get up but also went on the attack on the restart.
Not that he had any success as Kasiulevicius got straight back on the jab, then as before just as Kynkal started to come forward Kasiulevicius let rip with a massive right to send the Czech to the canvas a second time.
This time Kynkal looked a bit wary on the restart, which was like a red flag to a bull for Kasiulevicius, who instead of waiting for the Czech giant to come to him went on the attack, initially with solid jabs until the opportunity to throw a yet another big right into the temple of Kynkal.
No surprise Kynkal hit the deck for a third time, this time though the Czech looked wary about rising, leaving referee Ritchie Davies no option but to call a halt to the proceedings on the two minute twenty five second mark.
The second bout of the night, between Adam Dingsdale and Jason Nesbitt, also didnt make the distance, but for a totally different reason.
Highly rated unbeaten prospect Dingsdale started strong, taking the fight to the highly experienced Nesbitt. The Hoo, Kent man kept Nesbitt on the back foot throughout the first round, launching some wicked combinations behind his solid jabbing.
The canny Nesbitt kept a high guard as he played a waiting game and looking for any openings the Dingsdale may leave. He didnt find that many in the first but the second was a much more open affair, however this wasnt to last as in the final minute of the round Nesbitt dislocated his shoulder.
Determined to see the round out Nesbitt tried to box and defend with just the one arm. Dingsdale, who, as was everyone ringside, was aware that the Birmingham man was in distress and just used his jab until the bell went.
It came as no surprise to anyone that Nesbitts corner retired their man in the corner, so he could receive medical treatment.
The opening fight of the night, between TRAD TKOs Festim Lama and Dan Blackwell, was a real barnstormer.
Lama, who in his debut back in February stopped his opponent, was clearly fired up and looking for a second stoppage win. However twenty two fight veteran Dan Blackwell is one seriously tough cookie.
Right from the off Lama went hard on the attack, forcing Blackwell onto the back foot. Lama continued his double handed assault whist the Trowbridge man covered up behind a high guard.
Lama must have felt confident, as he kept up the barrage for a good minute and half, then suddenly Blackwell whipped out a solid counter and now the fight really got under way.
This heavy handed exchanges continued throughout the second and third rounds, both of which Lama secured with his much higher work rate and more meaningful shots.
By the final round Blackwell was getting more success, but nowhere near enough to win the round. No surprise then when the scorecard was read out that Lama had secured his second pro win by a shutout 40-36 points decision.
Congratulations are in order for Johnny Eames and the TKO Events team, they put on a sensational debut show the event went like clockwork and more importantly for the fans, it was a great evening of entertainment, crammed full of drama, sensational action packed bouts and even a little controversy – what more could a boxing fan ask for.
Word is theres more to come next month, as the TKO juggernaut returns to Bethnal Green for a second installment on the 27th July.
Photos and Report Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro