Saturday – O2 London
Lawrence Okolie had another early night, stopping Russell Henshaw in round 1 and moving to 4-0 (4 ko’s). Even at this early stage in his career Okolie looks destined to be fighting at world level sooner rather than later. Domestically in the cruiserweight division, I don’t think there’s many fighters that will be able to handle his punching power.
Conor Benn had been out of the ring since December, working on his skills with trainer Tony Sims, and he looked razor sharp in a third-round stoppage win over Mike Cole. As always, Benn is great to watch, he’s not afraid to rough it out and take one to give one.
His jubilant father Nigel joined him in the post-fight interview and the former world champion predicted a bright future for his son.
“I believe he will surpass me,” he said. “He’s got a long way to go, but he’s on the right track.”
Joshua Buatsi had caught the eye at last summer’s Rio Olympics with his skill and punching power and the he effortlessly adjusted to life in the paid ranks on his debut. He stopped Carlos Mena in the 2nd round, showing a great array of punches to head and body during the 5 or so minutes the fight lasted.
Ted Cheeseman put on a dominant display and possibly the performance of the night in his light-middleweight English title bout with Matthew Ryan. Right from the start Cheeseman looked like he had the advantage in power and skill. Stalking Ryan down, he landed hurtful body shots and right hooks from the start, paying no attention to what Ryan was throwing back. Cheeseman eventually stopped Ryan in round 3 and moves to 9-0 (7 ko’s) and will hopefully land a British title shot by the end of the year.
Reece Bellotti was another contender for performance of the night. He outclassed Jamie Speight and bullied him around the ring until the stoppage came in round 8. Bellotti looks to be a genuine contender at Featherweight, and displays serious punching power, his record is now 10-0 (9 ko’s)
Frank Buglioni outclassed Ricky Summers en-route to a unanimous points win in this British light-heavyweight bout. Buglioni looked to have won the first 6 rounds, but Summers came back into the fight and with his work rate and high tempo seemed to be right back in it. But Buglioni done enough in the final 2 rounds to make it look a bit better on the cards. Buglioni has talked about world titles, but Im not sure he’s at that level just yet. You can see big improvements in him, but I think another 2-3 fight’s at european level would be the best idea before a world title challenge.