The Light Heavyweights were the feature of the latest MTK Golden Contract tournament, with the quarter finals taking place at the Brentwood Centre.
A big shock was saved for last on the night, as Northern Ireland’s Steven Ward lost his unbeaten record and WBO European title with a surprise stoppage defeat in the opening round to the unheralded Latvian, Ricards Bolotniks.
A huge left hand did the damage and although Ward rose to his feet, he had clearly not recovered sufficiently, visiting the canvas twice more before the towel came in from his stunned corner. Bolotniks picked up a £5000 bonus for his knockout win as he moved into the last four.
Hosea Burton won the battle of the former British champions, widely outscoring Bob Ajisafe, aided by a knockdown scored after just six seconds of their contest.
It was a big right hand that forced ‘The Lionheart’ to the canvas, and he was had to take more big shots in a rocky first round.
‘The Hammer’ was frustrating Ajisafe with an accurate jab in particular in the first few rounds, and Ajisafe was struggling to get inside Burton’s long levers. Ajisafe did attempt to up the tempo in the last three rounds, but Burton kept his composure to impressively see the ten rounds out.
‘I WON’T SEE THE MONEY!’ 🤣
Ricards Bolotniks earned a £5k bonus for stopping the valiant Ward in the #GoldenContract… and now hopes his wife might give him some pocket money!
— MTK Global 🌍 (@MTKGlobal) December 15, 2019
Scores of 99-90, 99-92 and 98-91 saw the 31-year-old through to the semi-finals.
💥 BELL TO FLOOR IN 6 SECONDS! 💥
Hosea Burton came flying out the blocks to knock Bob Ajisafe down in just 6 (six) seconds!
📺 We’re into the third round now on Sky Sports Action! pic.twitter.com/KdIbFawQo8
— Sky Sports Boxing (@SkySportsBoxing) December 14, 2019
Liam Conroy impressed by outpointing Andre Sterling over ten entertaining rounds of action.
It was Conroy’s sharp jabs that were dominating the opening sessions, and it wasn’t really until the fifth round where Sterling found success, landing stiff jabs of his own, although Conroy replied with a combination that landed flush and seemed to hurt his opponent.
The seventh saw Conroy floor Sterling with a short left hand. It was a torrid round for the Londoner, who was left gulping for air and took more flush hooks for his troubles.
Sterling did enjoy a good eighth and ninth, but Conroy regained control of the last round, staggering Sterling with a double uppercut up. Scores of 98-91, 97-92 and 96-94 saw the Barrow in Furness man progress.
The fourth semi-final competitor is Serge Michel, after the heavy-handed German dropped the previously unbeaten Tommy Philbin twice en route to a points win.
A left hook to the ribs of Philbin forced him to take a count in the third and the Scot bravely survived the round. Michel warmed to his task and was boxing impressively and with confidence, largely dominating proceedings.
Philbin did come alive in round seven, landing an uppercut and then an impressive body assault. The eighth and ninth were tough to score, but the tenth and last saw Michel floor Philbin with a short left hand to rubber stamp his win.
Scores of 99-90 (twice) and 98-90 saw the German emerge as a real threat in the competition.
Elsewhere, Dan Azeez became the new English light heavyweight champion, beating Lawrence Osueke on a unanimous decision.