Sky Sports’ new link up with Boxxer saw its first UK show on Saturday night from the SSE Arena, as David Avanesyan defeated Liam Taylor in a hastily elevated main event.
Avanesyan (28-3-1, 16 KOs) gave another timely reminder of just how dangerous he is, as he successfully defended his European welterweight title with a second round stoppage of Liam Taylor in the new bill topper.
The headliner was due to feature Chris Eubank Jr, but first, his contest with Sven Elbir was shelved during fight week, with the German testing positive for COVID-19.
In stepped Elbir’s countryman, Anatoli Muratov, but after the British Boxing Board of Control raised issues with his pre-fight medical, he was refused the green light to box, and the contest was cancelled at the last minute.
With the fight taking place at close quarters, Avanesyan was nailing Taylor (23-2-1, 11 KOs) with hurtful head shots.
The champion connected with two spiteful single left hands, that forced an intervention from the referee, a wise decision that would have surely saved Taylor from further punishment, having already hit the canvas in the first round.
What a performance. What a fighter.
David Avanesyan is world class. FACT.#AvanesyanTaylor pic.twitter.com/iutTzIT3fp
— BOXXER (@boxxer) October 2, 2021
Avanesyan said post-fight to Pro Boxing Fans he is keen for a showdown against WBA ‘super’ welterweight champion, Yordenis Ugas next.
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Riakporhe returns with points win
Richard Riakporhe made a welcome return to action after a long lay off, but he was forced to got the full eight rounds with Poland’s Krzysztof Twardowski (9-3, 6 KOs).
The Londoner has had to watch on the sidelines while former opponents that he has faced and beaten have contested European titles, but the London-based cruiserweight came back after a break of nearly two years to record a victory here.
Riakporhe (12-0, 8 KOs) scored a knockdown in the final round, sealing a 79-72 win on the referee’s scorecard.
Big knockdown in the final round gets him the W 👊#BOXXER | @SkySportsBoxing pic.twitter.com/BnT4yOfQaW
— BOXXER (@boxxer) October 2, 2021
The 31-year-old will next be out next month at the same venue, where he will contest the vacant WBC Silver cruiserweight title against Olanrewaju Durodola.
Wins for Udofia, Lawal and more on undercard
Luton’s Linus Udofia (17-0, 9 KOs) remained unbeaten, and the middleweight took three rounds to dispatch Albanian, Xhuljo Vrenozi.
Vrenozi (17-4, 4 KOs) was down in the third, and, under heavy fire, the towel came in from his corner.
Thank you all sooo much for coming out to support me, the noise was amazing 🥰
Thank you @sauerlandbros @wassermanboxing @goodwinboxing & @skysportsboxing for giving me the platform 👌🏾🙌🏾
17 – 0 let’s gooo! Love you all ❤️ #ladfromluton #bigupluton pic.twitter.com/r80mrOdIpc
— ‘Lightning’ Linus Udofia🇳🇬🇬🇧 (@UdofiaLinus) October 3, 2021
Also at cruiserweight, Mikel Lawal (14-0, 8 KOs) took his frustration out on Steven Ward’s replacement, stopping Benoit Huber (7-2, 5 KOs) in three.
𝗥𝗜𝗡𝗚𝗦𝗜𝗗𝗘 VIEW 🔎💥
Look back on that 𝗠𝗔𝗦𝗦𝗜𝗩𝗘 @lethallawal finish 🎥
📺 Tonight 7.30pm | @SkySportsBoxing | @Boxxer pic.twitter.com/mHug97VHR1
— Sky Sports Boxing (@SkySportsBoxing) October 2, 2021
Big-punching Joe Pigford (18-0, 17 KOs) put another knockout on his record, stopping Isaac Aryee (26-10, 24 KOs) in five at super welterweight, and at super middleweight, Germaine Brown (10-0, 3 KOs) took a ten round decision win against Jamal Le Doux (8-2, 4 KOs) by a 99-92 margin.
Harvey Horn (9-0, 2 KOs) took all six rounds of his super flyweight encounter with Adam Yahaya (21-7-2, 10 KOs)
Ebonie Jones (1-0) took a 59-55 win over Vaida Masiokaite (2-11-4, 1 KO) at bantamweight on her debut, and Iran’s Alireza Ghadiri moved to 4-0 with a points win over six against Stefan Nicolae (3-27-2, 1 KO) at super bantamweight.