Conor Benn turned in a career best performance at the top of the latest Matchroom behind closed doors show.
Taking place at the SSE Arena, Wembley, the Ilford-man retained his WBA Continental Welterweight title with a landslide points win over the teak tough Sebastian Formella.
Formella went the full twelve rounds with Shawn Porter last time out in August, while Benn stopped Steve Jamoye in four last October in his last outing.
After making his ring walk to the strains of his dad’s old ring walk tune of Dangerous by Conrad Smith, it was down to business for Benn, and he began with authority.
‘The Destroyer’ landed meaty hooks to head and body of the German in an opening round that he dominated. Benn was working well off a decent jab, and Formella was struggling to get into the range of Benn, and his nose was bloodied as early as the second.
Benn was simply getting the better of the exchanges, and beating the visitor to the punch with regularity as he banked round after round.
Conor cranked up the pressure going into the second half, and the sixth saw him land with spiteful uppercuts as well as more hurtful body punches.
To Formella’s credit, he ended the sixth well, with successes of his own as he capitalised on Benn’s eagerness to land.
Formella was sensing the urgency and was well behind, and the seventh and eighth frames did see more ambition from the former IBO champion, but Benn was still able to tee off at regular intervals to maintain his dominance as the challenger began to tire.
The champion again stepped on the gas in the final two rounds to push for the stoppage, but the man from Hamburg was a tough nut to crack, and gamely made it to the final bell, despite Conor’s best efforts.
Scores of 100-91, 99-91 and 99-92 saw Benn remain unbeaten in 17, and retain his title. He was happy enough with his performance, but focus was on a certain fighter from the North East.
“I’ve had harder spars to be honest. Every time I get better, It’s not fun and games anymore, I’m here for business” said Benn to Sky Sports post fight.
“I beat him (Formella) just as good as Porter did, I was on top the whole time there. When the going gets tough, that’s when you’ll see the best of me”.
“I’m only interested in one fight, and that’s Josh Kelly. They should have took their chance when they had it, because my stock is on the rise.”
Ipswich’s Fabio Wardley made a real statement as he destroyed Richard Lartey inside two rounds of their Heavyweight meeting.
Lartey had previously gone four rounds with Daniel Dubois, and taken Nathan Gorman the full ten round distance in his last contest.
After a relatively low key opener, a superb left-right combination from nowhere flattened the Ghanaian heavily, and Victor Loughlin waved the fight off mid count.
Lartey required oxygen as he sat up in the aftermath, and he was unsteady on his feet while getting to his stool. It was several minutes before he could leave the ring under his own steam, with the finishing shot appearing to land on the temple of Lartey.
In the second of the Heavyweight offerings on the card, Alen Babic made it half a dozen knockouts from as many starts, as he halted Tom Little in three gruelling rounds .
Babic went looking for Little from the off, hunting down his man and throwing winging hooks.
Little was tucking up and working well on the counter in the opener, as a torrent of punches came his way towards the end of the round. Babic pinned Little on the ropes to open the second, with Little screaming, “punch me,” at his opponent as most of the many shots from the Croatian were blocked.
Tom was electing to box, and banking on Babic tiring, but the man from Zagreb made the breakthrough in the first minute of the third, sapping Little’s energy with two short right hooks that dropped ‘The Gypopotamus’ to the canvas.
Little bravely rose, but, with his tank draining, Babic threw a selection of shots, with two meaty left hooks felling Little for good, as the count was dispensed with.
The vacant English Bantamweight title became the property of Liam Davies, as the Donnington man impressed in coming through the test of Liverpool’s Central Area champion, Sean Cairns.
Cairns’ corner pulled their man out during the break between rounds six and seven as Davies hardly missed his target with his right hand, and he eventually broke his opponent down more and more as the rounds went by, and the decision to withdraw Cairns from battle was a wise one.
Jez Smith won the hastily arranged Super Middleweight encounter over six against Ben Ridings, who lost his unbeaten record in the process. Smith, who went in as underdog, controlled the action in the main, and fully deserved his win, which came via a 60-54 verdict for referee Bob Williams.