Featured image: Lawrence Lustig/BOXXER.
Chris Eubank Jr‘s domination of Liam Smith in the main event rightfully stole the headlines from Manchester on Saturday night, but the Brightonian wasn’t the only man to put on a career-best performance on the card.
Earlier in the night, Little Lever’s Jack Cullen stopped former sparring partner Mark Heffron in three rounds to collect the British and Commonwealth super-middleweight titles in his 27th professional outing.
The 29 year old adds the belts to the English title he won back in 2019 and maintained his respect for Heffron who he once shared a gym with.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for Mark,” Cullen told BBTV post-fight.
“We both used to train each other in the same stable and we both know each other. He had the British and Commonwealth title which I wanted to win. It wasn’t personal, just business.”
Cullen started the sharper of the two behind a prodding jab before Heffron looked to up the pace in the second round.
The latter often found himself overreaching however as he struggled to close the distance and was rocked by a Cullen right hand in the final thirty seconds of the round.
The defining moment came in the third after Cullen, who had spent most of the round boxing at range, floored Heffron with a short left hook as the pair traded shots on the inside.
Oldham’s Heffron hadn’t seen the shot coming and was visibly shaken as he climbed back to his feet before stumbling to the canvas as referee Kieran McCann reached nine in his count before waving the fight off.
“I got told by Michael and Dave [Jennings] ‘tonight Jack, I want you to stick to the game-plan. If you catch him, stick to the game-plan’ and I caught him in the second round but still stuck to the game-plan.
“Sometimes, me being an idiot like I used to do, I’d start jumping in. I could’ve got knocked out myself but I didn’t and the third round came around and I got him out of there.”
Azim goes the distance and Allen retires after six
Slough super-lightweight Adam Azim moved to 9-0 as a professional after ten competitive rounds against Ukraine’s tricky Aram Faniian.
Azim hadn’t fought since February after struggling with a hand injury but showed patience as he looked to break down an awkward Faniian in the card’s chief support.
The Ukrainian appeared to be rocked in the eighth after an Azim left hook but refused to budge and held who went the distance for the third time as a pro.
Burton-on-Trent Frazer Clarke also overcame Dave Allen after six strange rounds in the card’s sole heavyweight contest.
Clarke comprehensively outboxed Allen throughout but was deducted two points for persistent blows in the sixth which proved the final round of the contest after Allen was pulled out before the seventh after reportedly suffering with a perforated eardrum.
Albanian welterweight Florian Marku flew out the blocks to secure a first-round stoppage of Dylan Moran in the card’s first televised bout, while Mikaela Mayer comfortably outboxed Silvia Bortot to win a wide unanimous decision after ten rounds at super-lightweight.
Lauren Price won a technical decision after a horrendous cut to Lolita Muzeya’s right eye forced the fight to go to the scorecards after six at welterweight.
Liverpool lightweight prospect Frankie Stringer also won all six rounds against Nicaragua’s game Engel Gomez.