Jack Rafferty picked up his best career victory to date with an emphatic ninth-round stoppage of Ben Fields at the Olympia in Liverpool last night to claim the vacant Commonwealth silver super-lightweight title. The fight also doubled as a British title eliminator and puts Rafferty in contention for the call.
Rafferty floored a tough Fields in round six and nine before eventually forcing the stoppage with 1:22 on the clock.
Manchester’s Rafferty flew out the gates and banked the early rounds behind a prodding jab as he looked to box and move against a hesitant Fields.
The latter grew into the contest in the middle rounds however as he looked to force Rafferty back with thudding blows through the guard.
The key moment came in the sixth however when a sinking Rafferty left hook to the body left Fields curled over in a heap in the centre of the ring.
The brave Birmingham man stubbornly rose to his feet and showed huge courage as he looked to force his way back into the contest but was rocked by a left to the temple three rounds later.
The 33-year-old’s legs unsteady before he eventually stumbled to the canvas but somehow found the energy to rise once again.
Despite his resilience however, the writing looked to be on the wall for Fields as Rafferty immediately set about securing his biggest win yet with walloping hooks and uppercuts against the ropes.
Referee Ron Kearney gave the Digbeth man every chance but was ultimately left with no choice than to step-in and wave the bout off with 1:22 seconds on the clock.
Emotional Rafferty celebrates with family
An emotional Rafferty fell to his knees in the ring as his team flooded through the ropes to join him.
The fight saw him crowned the Commonwealth Silver champion while also leaving him in good stead to challenge for the British and Commonwealth titles in the near future.
“I knew he [Fields] was tough but I didn’t know he were like that. He showed a different side to him tonight. I had to work for that,” Rafferty told Ali Drew in his post fight BBTV interview.
“A lot of people are stepping up to the mark and falling off it. I’m stepping up to the mark and I’m f***ing staying on it. I want them big fights, I want the British title!” added the new champion.
There are some big domestic fights in the division to make and it won’t be long before Jack Rafferty will be in that mix if this performance is anything to go by. “I want the British title and now I’m in line for a shot!” The impressive unbeaten Sheffield star Dalton Smith is currently in ownership of the super-lightweight Lonsdale strap. Watch this space…..
Hussey shines on debut while Francis earns stoppage
Former Team GB boxer Olivia Hussey impressed on her professional debut as she won all four rounds against Serbia’s Marija Zivkovic in front of a raucous home crowd.
The St. Helen’s welterweight enjoyed a stellar career in the amateur code and hit the ground running with a dominant display in the paid ranks.
Bournemouth lightweight Mace Ruegg also claimed all six rounds versus Honduras’ Jayro Fernando Duran, while Liverpool’s James Francis picked up the other stoppage on the night with a second-round TKO over Lithuania’s Simas Volosinas at lightweight.
London welterweight Jake Henty also defeated Ukraine’s Mykhailo Sovtus over six, and Newcastle super-lightweight Jordan Barker had her hand raised against Poland’s Bojana Libiszewska.
Liverpool super-lightweight John Edwardson overcame Manchester’s Harley Marginson on points while Mancunian Zak Miller won every round against Worcester’s Michael Mooney on points after four at 140lbs.
Sticking at super-lightweight, Liverpool’s Michael Walton claimed all four rounds versus Kent’s Ricky Leach.