Portsmouth super-lightweight Lucas Ballingall picked up the first major title of his professional career last night with a comfortable ten-round decision over Boy Jones Jr.
The twenty-five-year-old, who’s the younger brother of welterweight contender Michael McKinson, established his jab early in the first as he dominated the opening three minutes. Despite being up against the larger frame of Jones Jr, it was Ballingall who picked his shots well from range as he continued to pick off the Ilford man. Jones Jr looked to assert his authority with his greater range and height but it was the flicking, relaxed shots of the Portsmouth man that took the better of the work throughout the rounds as he continued to manoeuvre himself around the ring. Credit to Jones Jr who never once halted in his pursuit of Ballingall throughout the ten rounds but he could never put enough shots together to ever grab ahold of the contest. The twenty-five-year-old Ballingall now boasts his first title as a pro following the three ringside official’s scorecards of 99-91, 99-93 and 98-92 in his favour.
The chief support saw a sensational end to a brilliant encounter between Southern Area lightweight champion Conner Marsden and Martin McDonagh. The opening sessions were tight with both men enjoying success before the champion made good use of his advantages in height and reach, stabbing out jabs to McDonagh while regularly following up with the straight right hand. McDonagh appeared to be rocked by a right uppercut in the fourth as Marsden continued to bank the rounds which were still being fought at a fast pace. McDonagh continued to play his part, making Marsden work for every second of the round but was hurt again in the seventh by more right hands as the bout looked to be running away from him. The challenger was deducted a point for persistent holding in the eighth and was again rocked in the final minute of the round.
The tide looked like it might be turning in the final moments of the ninth however when, just moments after hurting his man with a right, it was Marsden’s legs who were wobbled as he clung to an encouraged McDonagh. Marsden still looked weary at the start of the tenth and final round, and was again hurt by a big right-hand from McDonagh midway through the round. Marsden looked to survive knowing the wide advantage he surely held on the scorecards, but a superbly timed left-hand crashed against his chin, leaving him sprawled over the bottom rope. Referee Lee Every had no choice but to wave the contest off and ushered the medical officials ringside to enter the ring and administer attention to the fallen Marsden as Team McDonagh celebrated a phenomenal comeback victory which will surely be among the standout domestic knockouts of 2022.
The third title offering of the night saw Jordan Purkiss pick up the vacant Southern Area title at bantamweight against the former titleholder Ryan Walker. The undefeated Purkiss, who was competing for the fifth time as a professional, ran out a comfortable winner on referee Every’s 98-94 scorecard against the experienced Walker who had previously shared the ring with the likes of Lee McGregor and Paul Butler.
Further down the card, middleweight Liam Wells won every round of his six-round encounter versus Craig Summer, while Mohammad Bilal Ali edged out Reynaldo Cajina over six at lightweight. Super-lightweight Tommy Murphy emerged victorious in his second pro outing against Lee Hallett in their four-round clash, and Lenny Fuller overcame Justin Menzie at welterweight. Light-heavyweight Joe Giles was upset in his fourth professional contest as he succumbed to a second-round stoppage defeat to Juris Zundovskis.