In the best fight of the night (so far in Riyadh, the main event still to come) Fabio Wardley retained his British heavyweight title and also won the vacant Commonwealth belt, this with a seventh round stoppage win over David Adeleye.
Coming out of a clinch, Wardley whipped in a right hand followed by a left hook to the jaw and down went Adeleye. Sticking his tongue out as he was down, a bleeding Adeleye got up and tried to fight back. But Wardley was in control and his punches that followed the knockdown were enough to force the referee to dive in and stop the fight. Adeleye was furious, shoving the third man.
Time was 2:43 of the seventh and 28 year old Wardley is now 17-0(16). Adeleye, the younger man by two years, is now 12-1(11).
A good fight, with both men having their moments early, Wardley took over after the third round. There were some messy moments, with Adeleye using his forearm and with a fair amount of clinching taking place. Wardley was the man making the fight, though, with him being on the front foot.
Adeleye was always dangerous with his power, and there was always the possibility he would land a big counter shot as Wardley was on the attack. But Wardley was the sharper man and he bossed the last four rounds of the fight.
Adeleye was in some distress with his right eye, blinking as he was in the sixth (Adeleye said after the fight that he had been thumbed). Also in the 6th, Adeleye hit Wardley with a shot on the break.
Wardley returned the favour in round seven, his right hand catching Adeleye as the two separated, Wardley’s left hook then scoring the knockdown. Adeleye showed heart in getting back up and trying to fight back and also weather the storm – and an Adeleye fan could certainly feel the stoppage was at least a little premature – but Wardley was on top in a big way.
Wardley said post-fight that this was the best he has felt in a fight, while Adeleye called for a rematch.
Wardley said he has got just one more fight at British level, before his move onto bigger things comes.