Ross ‘The Boss’ Burkinshaw defeated Yorkshire rival Jason Cunningham on points to claim the vacant Commonwealth bantamweight title in a classic encounter at the Doncaster Dome.

Burkinshaw took a close split decision verdict with Judges Phil Edwards scoring it 116-112 and Michael Alexander 116-113 scoring for Burkinshaw while John King saw it for Cunningham by 115-113 – Scores that reflect a tight fight that swung backwards and forwards throughout in a toe to toe slug fest.

Burkinshaw only just stepped in to fight Cunningham at three days notice after former champion Martin Ward pulled out of the fight and vacated the title. Burkinshaw must now make his first defence of his belt against former champion Ward.