Conor Benn made an explosive statement at the Copper Box Arena in Hackney, as he defended his WBA Continental Welterweight title in style, halting Samuel Vargas in just over 90 seconds on Saturday
Vargas (31-7-2, 14 KOs) had only previously been stopped by Vergil Ortiz Jr, Errol Spence Jr and Danny Garcia, and was expected to provide the stiffest test to date for Benn.
’The Destroyer’ made a fast start, and displayed his hand speed, landing with some spiteful shots.
As he stepped up his assault, Benn (18-0, 12 KOs) landed some clean, crisp shots through the guard of Vargas, and the Canada-based Colombian had no answer, and, as his head rocked back on the ropes, referee Michael Alexander stepped in with barely a minute-and-a-half gone in the round.
Talk swiftly moved to the 24-year-old making further steps up in the near future, with one name taking precedence over others.
“Statement made,” said Benn post-fight to Sky Sports.
“Give me a proper test, give me Amir Khan next. I can cope with the pressure. You know what they say about pressure, it creates diamonds.
“I was expecting a hard fight tonight. I’m the most rapidly improving fighter in the world. Amir Khan, lets go mate. Shawn Porter, (Adrien) Broner, they can all get it.”
Marshall defends world title in emphatic fashion
Savannah Marshall made a successful first defence of her WBO Middleweight title, as she blasted out late-notice substitute, Maria Lindberg in three rounds.
Lindberg (19-7-2, 10 KOs) stepped in at late notice for Belgium’s Femke Hermans, whose coach tested positive for COVID-19 with just days to go until fight night.
Marshall (10-0, 8 KOs) boxed beautifully off a superb languid and loose style, and a big right hand dropped the Swede in the second.
The former four-time world title challenger did well to beat the count and survive the round, but a perfectly timed left-right combination had the challenger down again in the third, and the 44-year-old decided to take the full count as Marshall emphatically sealed victory.
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The Hartlepool native will hope to lure old amateur rival and three-weight world champion Claressa Shields into the ring in the near future for a superfight.
Courtenay beats Bridges to become word champion
The grudge match for the vacant WBA Bantamweight title went the way of Shannon Courtenay, and the Watford fighter’s boxing skills trumped Ebanie Bridges’ all-action style in a unanimous decision win.
It was an entertaining watch, but Courtenay’s solid jab and back foot boxing was winning the day against her Australian opponent hungry for victory.
Courtenay (7-1, 3 KOs) stopped Bridges (5-1, 2 KOs) in her tracks in the fifth with a solid right hand, but was unable to secure an early win as ‘The Blonde Bomber’ did well to survive and fire back.
The contest went to the judges, and two scores of 98-92 and a third at 97-93 ensured the 27-year-old became the new champion, and a rematch with her sole conqueror, Rachel Ball, is surely on the cards next.
Farooq overcomes Espinoza
Kash Farooq became WBC International Silver Bantamweight champion, as he took an entertaining unanimous decision against Alexander Epinoza (20-3-2, 8 KOs).
Farooq (15-1, 6 KOs) showed a wide variety of punches, but was kept honest by the Nicaraguan throughout the ten rounds of action. Scores of 97-93, 97-94 and 97-95 ensured the Scot became the new owner of the belt.
Campbell wins on debut
Former Rugby player, Nick Campbell (1-0) made his professional debut, and needed just two rounds to stop Peter Frohlich (2-31-1, 1 KO).
Hedges claims second scalp
John Hedges moved to 2-, and had a much more simpler time of things than on his debut, as he outscored the winless Stanko Jermelic (0-6) over four rounds at Light Heavyweight.
A 40-36 scorecard was enough for the Essex man to remain unbeaten.