Dillian Whyte narrowly overcame Jermaine Franklin via majority decision to mark a successful return at Wembley Arena on Saturday night.
After twelve hard fought rounds, it was unclear who would get the nod from the judges with many on social media feeling Franklin had done enough to pickup the win.
The American started well, establishing his jab early and targeting the body of Whyte with accurate left hooks.
Franklin surely picked up the majority of the opening six rounds before Whyte grew into the contest, establishing his own jab and looking to push Franklin back.
The fight hung in the balance as the championship rounds grew closer and it was Whyte who finished the strongest perhaps recognising the need to close the show.
The German and Polish judges scored in Whyte’s favour by a margin of 116-112, while Britain’s Michael Alexander scored the bout a draw at 115-115.
Franklin was predictably disappointed feeling he had been ‘robbed’ while Whyte acknowledged it wasn’t his best performance but felt he had done enough to secure victory.
Attention now turns to a potential rematch versus Anthony Joshua in 2023.
Joshua was ringside on the night.
Fabio Wardley blasted through Nathan Gorman inside three rounds to claim the vacant British heavyweight title.
Gorman appeared to settle well in the first before a thudding overhand right from Wardley floored him at the midway point in the second.
The 26-year-old regained his footing but was down again a minute later from the same shot.
Wardley’s nose was bloodied but he remained undeterred as he continued to walk Gorman down.
The latter survived the second but a third knockdown came after a Wardley right-hand with Gorman’s back to the ropes.
He again regained his footing but his corner had seen enough, throwing in the towel with thirty seconds remaining.
Wardley has now claimed the English and British heavyweight titles in 15 professional outings.
Super-middleweight Pat McCormack marked a somewhat frustrating Matchroom debut with a wide six-round points victory over Christian Andino.
The Argentinian showed no interest in exchanging with the Tokyo 2020 silver medalist throughout the contest.
McCormack remained focused for the majority of the bout as he looked to impress in the capital but grew frustrated in the final round following showboating from Andino.
While not the statement he will have liked to have made, McCormack moves to 3-0-0(2KOs) as a pro.
Sandy Ryan overcame Aniha Sanchez with a comfortable unanimous decision victory at super-lightweight.
Ryan was a worthy winner on the front foot behind her jab and began to break the Argentinian down in the final three rounds as her greater physicality began to have an affect.
The Brit was caught at times as she stepped in to close the distance throughout the ten rounds against the former lightweight world champion but was a deserving winner after the final bell.
Ryan’s record now stands at 5-1-0, (2KOs).
Tokyo 2020 Olympian Cheavon Charke secured his fourth win inside the distance in as many outings versus Jose Ulrich.
Clarke floored the Argentinian with a stiff jab early in the first before detonating a huge right uppercut onto the chin of Ulrich which left the South American out on his feet in the second round.
Referee Reece Carter immediately waved the bout off.
Top middleweight prospect Mark Dickinson enjoyed his first fight under Matchroom with a 59-56 six-round decision victory over Gideon Onyenani.
The County Durham man moved to 4-0-0(1KO) as a professional.
Irish heavyweight Thomas Carty halted Ukraine’s Pavlo Krolenko in the fifth of their scheduled six-round contest.
Carty’s resume now stands at 4-0-0(3KOs).
Middleweight George Liddard marked a successful professional debut with a second-round stoppage of Nikola Matic.