Foster Jr. Stops Hughes to Earn British Featherweight Title

26.02.04 – Undefeated Stephen Foster Jr. captured the vacant British featherweight title by scoring an sixth-round technical knockout over Central Area Super Bantamweight Champion Sean Hughes Thursday on SHOWTIME. In the co-feature, WBU International Light Middleweight Champion Thomas McDonagh successfully defended his crown and remained unbeaten with a second-round knockout over Bobby Banghar. The doubleheader at Kingsway Sports Centre in Widnes, England, was promoted by Frank Warren and aired on a tape delayed basis at 11 p.m. ET/PT. The telecast represented the 38th in the popular “ShoBox” series.

Foster Jr. (15-0, 10 KOs), of Salford, England, floored Hughes in the fourth round with a vicious right to the body. Foster Jr. then continued the onslaught by sending his opponent to the canvas again in the sixth round. Referee Grant Willis decided he had seen enough and stopped the fight at 2:08 of the stanza. Foster Jr., who turned pro one day before his 21st birthday as a super bantamweight on Sept. 15, 2001, has recorded 10 of his past 13 victories inside of the distance, including the past five. The unbeaten Englishman was the 2000 and ’01 Amateur Boxing Association (ABA) champion in England.

Hughes (8-1, 1 KO), of Pontefract, England, rallied bravely from the two knockdowns, but was unable to hold off his dominant opponent. A natural bantamweight, Hughes registered the only knockout of his young career when he captured the Central Area 122-pound crown with a fourth-round TKO over Paddy Folan on Oct. 5, 2003. In two previous outings against Folan, the southpaw Hughes defeated his opponent across four rounds on Oct. 5, 2002, and also in his pro debut (six rounds) on March 2, 2002.

McDonagh (22-0-2, 5 KOs), of Manchester, England made it an early night and earned his seventh consecutive victory by finishing off Banghar with a flurry of combination punches. McDonagh earned the vacant WBU International 154-pound crown on Sept. 27, 2003, with a 12-round decision over Eugenio Monteiro. The unbeaten champion, who turned pro at age 18 on Oct. 9, 1999, won his initial 15 starts before boxing to a four-round draw against Mark Richards on Oct. 27, 2001.

Banghar (11-4-1, 2 KOs), of Bedford, England had no answer for McDonagh’s physical domination and saw his five-bout winning streak come to an end. After hitting the canvas twice in the second round, Banghar was incapable of beating the referee’s count following the final knockdown. Then 20 years old, Banghar won his pro debut on Dec. 2, 1997, but boxed to a four-round draw against Neville Smith in his second start on Jan. 27, 1998. In his third effort, Banghar scored a third-round TKO over Carl Nicholson on Feb. 6, 1998.

“ShoBox: The New Generation” features up-and-coming prospects determined to make a mark and eventually fight for a chance at a world title. The best of the new generation of hungry, young boxers will have an opportunity to showcase their talent and heart as they battle each other in competitive fights in front of a national television audience. “ShoBox: The New Generation” is pure, basic boxing, reminiscent of the golden days of the sport.

Nick Charles called Thursday’s action from ringside, with Steve Farhood serving as expert analyst. The executive producers of the telecast were Jay Larkin and Gordon Hall, with Richard Gaughan producing.

For information on upcoming “ShoBox: The New Generation” and SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecasts, including complete fighter bios, records, related stories and more, please go the SHOWTIME website at http:www.sho.com/boxing.



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