Derek Chisora breathed new life into his long and hard career, as he claimed the vacant WBA International Heavyweight title with a split decision win over Kubrat Pulev at the O2 Arena in London.
Chisora was coming off three straight losses, albeit in decent company, the last a points loss to Joseph Parker in a rematch last December, while Pulev had twice unsuccessfully challenged for world honours in stoppage defeats to Wladimir Klitschko and Anthony Joshua.
The pair met way back in 2016 for the vacant European title, where Pulev took a split decision win in Germany, but this time it was the Zimbabwe-born Londoner that tasted victory.
Chisora (33-12, 23 KOs) began brightly in this one, with his usual, ferocious pressure fighting banking crucial early rounds, but he allowed the Bulgarian to come back into the contest after halfway as he started to tire.
It was all to play for in the championship rounds, and both men laid it all on the line as they realised exactly what was at stake.
In a contest that was hard to score, it went to the scorecards, and understandably, there was a split verdict.
Pulev (29-3, 14 KOs) took one score of 116-112, but was overruled by the remaining judges who scored 116-112 and 116-114 in Chisora’s favour.
Madrimov-Soro ends after head clash
Chief support saw a rematch, and it was neither repeat or revenge, as Israil Madrimov (8-0-1, 6 KOs) and Michel Soro (35-3-2, 24 KOs) had to settle for a technical draw, as Soro was unable to continue due to a nasty cut sustained over his eye, and the fight was cut short in the third round.
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Ramla Ali (6-0, 1 KOs) pitched a shutout in her eight round super bantamweight affair with Augustina Rojas (6-2).
Caoimhin Agyarko (12-0, 7 KOs) claimed the vacant WBA International super welterweight title with a convincing points win over Lukasz Maciec (28-5-1, 5 KOs) over ten rounds.
Two scores of 100-90, and a third at 99-93 sealed the won for the Irishman.
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Heavyweight Fabio Wardley was due to face Kingsley Ibeh, but the American was unable to get into the UK, and in stepped Chris Healey, but the Stockport man proved little opposition, as Wardley (14-0, 13 KOs) recorded a second round stoppage win.
Healey (9-10, 2 KOs) was down in the first, and also in the second, before he was rescued.
Solomon Dacres (4-0, 1 KO) remained unbeaten, taking every round of his heavyweight eight rounder against Argentina’s Kevin Nicolas Espindola (7-5, 2 KOs).
Super bantamweight Yousuf Ibrahim (2-0) also remained undefeated taking all four rounds against Spaniard Francisco Rodriguez (1-7, 1 KO).