Natasha Jonas is a world champion at the third time of asking. ‘Miss GB’ moved up three weight divisions to meet former world belt-holder Chris Namus for the vacant WBO super welterweight championship. There were concerns that the Olympians power would not follow her up in weight, but Jonas settled those doubts with a stunning second round stoppage.
Jonas moved well in the first round, popping shots in and getting out of the way of any responses. Towards the end of the session, a firm left straight stopped Namus in her tracks. The Uruguayan tried to shake it off, only for Jonas to repeat the punch and send her down heavily to the mat.
The second round saw Jonas pour on the pressure, finally tasting the opportunity to wear world gold. She would not have to wait long for her prize. Jonas ripped in slick combinations and Namus was soon down again. The fallen fighter’s trainer hovered with the towel, but it was the referee who waved off the fight in the end. Finally, and utterly deservedly, Natasha Jonas is the champion of the world.
Olympic bronze medalist finally started his professional journey with a first round stoppage of fellow debutant Jake Darnell. The former bare-knuckle fighter was a late replacement, and was ultimately overmatched. Clarke went to the body in the early going before switching his attack to the head. Vicious combinations opened up Darnell’s nose, and a series of hard straights along the ropes caused the referee to wave it off. The former Team GB captain will have sterner tests than this in the pros, but the live crowd immediately connected with the well-liked heavyweight.
19-year-old super lightweight star Adam Azim climbed to 3-0 in spectacular fashion. Jordan Ellison was his latest victim, and the 51-fight veteran found himself on the canvas from a vicious body shot in the first round. The stoppage arrived in the third after some classy work from Azim, and the teenager punctuated his performance with a celebratory back-flip.
Adam’s elder brother Hassan Azim got his chance to strut his stuff next. Seasoned journeyman MJ Hall came to survive, and the 21-year-old could not replicate his brother’s stoppage victory.
This will have been an excellent learning fight for ‘The Hitman’ though, he showed a good range of punches in his second fight.
Social media star turned prospect Viddal Riley put some rounds in the bank against the experienced Willbeforce Shihepo. Shihepo represented a step-up in class for the influencer, and despite not getting the stoppage, Riley will have learned a lot from this six-rounder.
The battle of the unbeaten middleweights was brief and brutal. Brad ‘Sting’ Rea scored a spectacular knockout over Craig McCarthy. A brilliant left uppercut ended McCarthy’s night early, and the Irishman was out cold before he hit the ground. Both men should be applauded for taking this contest on in a sport that prizes unbeaten records far more than it should.
In the evening’s opener, Germaine Brown prevailed via decision against Charlie Schofield. The 27-year-old is now 12-0, and captured Schofield’s English super middleweight title in the process.