Dennis Hobson has hailed Ross Burkinshaw after he demolished Benjamin Smoes to capture the vacant WBO European bantamweight title on Saturday night (February 21).

Already the Commonwealth belt-holder, Burkinshaw was far too strong for Smoes at the Sheffield Octagon Centre, with the Belgian hitting the canvas twice before referee Steve Gray waved it off at 2:46 of the first.

Now a double-champion, and with a soaring ranking, promoter Hobson is eyeing up major opportunities for the ‘Steel City’ fighter after the 28-year-old improved his ledger to 14-5-2 (8).

“Ross is very dedicated, he gets in great shape and is a very big bantamweight,” explained Dennis.  “He’s got so much self-belief since being with Ryan Rhodes, and it’s been an amazing turnaround in his career.  It’s a real Cinderella story.

“He promotes himself really well and the atmosphere when he walked to the ring was incredible.  Jamie Conlan beat his opponent Smoes in seven rounds, and Ross has gone one better, and you can’t do any better than stopping him in the first round, can you?

“Ross made a statement against Smoes, and he was just warming up, which is testament to his team and his conditioning.  He’s got the Commonwealth, he’s now got the WBO European and a world ranking, and he’s got Stuart Hall and Jamie McDonnell in his future sights.”

Also, in a feverish atmosphere at the packed Octagon Centre, super-bantamweights Uzair Najib and Muheeb Fazeldin went to war in an action-packed round that saw Najib over twice before being stopped. 

With no-love-lost between the Sheffield rivals ahead of the Central Area title fight bout, the action was frenetic as Muheeb – trained by Naseem Hamed’s brother Ali – proved the stronger man after the pair discarded any niceties and went toe-to-toe.

“This fight was never going to go the distance because they were both going to go for it, but the drama that unfolded during the fight was something you couldn’t predict,” said Hobson.  “Muheeb caught Uzair early, he was relentless and Uzair couldn’t cope with the onslaught.

“Uzair will come again because he’s got plenty of ability, but Muheeb has moved onto the next level.  The fight was pure drama, and what a TV fight it would’ve been!  It was fantastic for the time it lasted.  Uzair showed heart and he caught Maheeb, but he had the strength taken out of him by the accurate fast shots coming back.

“We are getting a great stable together at Dennis Hobson Promotions.  The show was another great success, the atmosphere was just incredible and the future looks very exciting.”