Lewis Crocker and Gary Cully both put in tremendous performances as the duo each came away with titles during an incredible #MTKFightNight event on Friday.
The event was held at the University of Bolton Stadium and was broadcast live in the US on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank and worldwide on IFL TV, and proved to be another superb card.
Crocker successfully retained his WBO European welterweight title with a unanimous decision win over Deniz Ilbay after 10 fantastic rounds of action, while Cully recorded a Knockout of the Year contender with a massive second round stoppage win over Viktor Kotochigov to win the vacant WBO European lightweight title.
Elsewhere there were impressive wins for Isaac Lowe, Carl Fail, Jordan Reynolds and Mace Ruegg. Here’s everything you need to know from a brilliant night of action.
WBO European welterweight title
LEWIS CROCKER def. DENIZ ILBAY via unanimous decision after 10 rounds (99-90, 97-93, 97-92)
Lewis Crocker kept hold of his WBO European welterweight title after an amazing back and forth battle with Deniz Ilbay over 10 hard-fought rounds.
It was non-stop action from start to finish, but looked like it could be a quick night for Crocker when he knocked Ilbay down in round three. The German recovered though, and fought back with some big shots of his own that Crocker did well to take on the chin.
The high-tempo continued for all of the fight, with both boxers giving it their all and leaving it all in the ring. Crocker earned the win on points in the end, in what was a fantastic main event.
Crocker said: “He has the hardest head I’ve ever hit in my life! That was a great 10 rounds and a great learning experience for me. It gives me confidence for my next fights and that’s a quality opponent on my record.
“I’m now 13-0 and still only 24, so I’m getting better each fight. I showed heart, grit and maturity in there against a quality fighter and he brought the very best out of me.”
Vacant WBO European lightweight title
GARY CULLY def. VIKTOR KOTOCHIGOV via TKO at 2:14 of round 2
Gary Cully showed yet again that he is a true force to deal with at lightweight as he secured a huge second round knockout win over Viktor Kotochigov to win the vacant WBO European lightweight title.
Kotochigov had only lost one fight in his career and had never been stopped heading into the bout, but Cully landed a ferocious straight left that sent Kotochigov to the mat in round two.
The Kazakh tried his best to get back to his feet but was unable to do so, handing Cully yet another big knockout win early into a fight.
Cully said: “I expected it to go like that. Viktor is durable and a good fighter but I have worked hard in the last year and grown into the professional game. You can ask anybody on my team, I said that it would go early.
“It shows how much work in the gym I have put in and it is paying off. I won the Irish title last year and now I have the WBO European title. The potential is definitely there to go on and win world honours.”
ISAAC LOWE def. ED HARRISON 60-55 on points after 6 rounds
Isaac Lowe made a successful return to the ring after 13 months out as he defeated Ed Harrison after an entertaining six-round battle.
Lowe dominated the majority of proceedings, with the unbeaten star showing just why he has never tasted defeat as he displayed some slick skills.
The performance was hampered slightly after Lowe suffered a cut late into the fight, but in the end it was still a one-sided win for the Morecambe boxer.
Lowe said: “It was good to get the rounds in but it is just a shame about the cut. I thought my timing was a bit off and I was lunging forward a bit, but I still got the win.
“There are a lot of big fights out there for me. The last 13 months have been terrible, not just for me but for every boxer. There are a lot of big fights out there so hopefully this cut isn’t that bad as I want to be back out soon.”
CARL FAIL def. JORDAN DUJON 58-56 on points after 6 rounds
Carl Fail entered the paid ranks in style as he defeated previously undefeated opponent Jordan Dujon to successfully win his professional debut.
Dujon had won all four of his fights heading into the bout, but Fail’s elite amateur experience proved to be the difference as he dictated the majority of the fight.
Dujon came back and had some success during the closing stages, but in the end Fail was too much and he picked up a well-deserved debut win.
Fail said: “I knew it would be a tough fight, but I went in there and did the job. I’ve got two great coaches working with me and we can adapt to any situation depending on how the fight plays out.
“It was my first fight so there was a lot to take in. I enjoyed it and came out with the victory, but there was a lot of pressure. I’m always hard on myself though, so I’ll listen to my team and see how they felt it went.”
MACE RUEGG def. LEVI DUNN 40-36 on points after 4 rounds
Rising star Mace Ruegg continued the perfect start to his professional career as he defeated Levi Dunn on points after four rounds.
Ruegg dominated the action, shining from start to finish as he showed exactly why he is regarded as a hot prospect on his way to making it 4-0 in his career.
Ruegg said: “I loved it. It was absolutely amazing just to get out there and get the opportunity. I really enjoyed the chance to showcase my skills. I was a lot calmer and more relaxed in there, so that shows my maturity.
“I got a bit overexcited in the final moments, but it’s all part of the learning experience and it will stand me in good stead for my future fights.”
JORDAN REYNOLDS def. ROBBIE CHAPMAN 60-54 on points after 6 rounds
The highly-anticipated debut of Jordan Reynolds proved to be worth the wait, as he defeated Robbie Chapman to make it a perfect entry into the professional game.
Reynolds had been an extremely successful amateur, and he nearly got Chapman out of there early when he rocked him with a big shot at the end of round two.
Chapman was able to recover and see out the rest of the fight, but Reynolds was slick from beginning to end, with the referee scoring every round in his favour to make it 1-0 as a pro.
Reynolds said: “It’s been around two years now since my last fight in the amateurs. It’s been a long period of hurdles, but it’s helped build true resilience and character. We’ve got the ball rolling now and I want to climb the rankings.
“I’ve got a crowd-pleasing style, and I can box or have a war. I want to keep growing and become a conditioned professional. I got six good rounds in the bank and you can’t beat that experience.”
A massive #MTKFightNight takes place next week on March 19, as Lee McGregor challenges Karim Guerfi for his European bantamweight title, and Maxi Hughes meets Paul Hyland Jnr for the vacant British lightweight title.
The event also sees Padraig McCrory face Germaine Brown in a clash of unbeaten super-middleweights, Shabaz Masoud goes up against Louis Norman, Jamie Robinson fights Billy Allington, and Paul Ryan makes his professional debut against Kyle Hughes.