Lyndon Arthur remains on track to fight for the world title in May after flooring late replacement Boris Crighton on the way to a unanimous points win.
Arthur, live and free-to-air on Channel 5, in association with Ladbrokes, Numan and Infinitum Entertainment, had to bide his time against his former sparring partner from Scotland, after original opponent Braian Suarez failed a medical on Thursday.
Suarez’s withdrawal meant the vacant IBO light heavyweight world title was no longer on the line, but Arthur could afford no mistakes against Crighton on the Wasserman Boxing card at the University of Bolton Stadium, if he wanted to challenge for the belt later this year.
And though the spirited Crighton made life difficult for ‘King’, Manchester’s Arthur refused to be ruffled and proved his world class credentials down the stretch in front of a sell-out crowd.
After a strong eighth session, Arthur hurt ‘Blade’ in round nine and then detonated a huge right hand to send Crighton to the canvas late in the 10th.
Crighton rose to his feet to hear the final bell but Arthur was awarded the victory with scores of 98-92, 96-93 and 99-91 by the ringside judges and he now turns his attention back to the IBO world title.
Arthur, now 22-1, said: “Crighton literally came in at the last minute and I was supposed to be fighting someone completely different, with a completely different style, for the title.
“It was scrappy at times but, in the end, it was a good 10 rounds for me and we keep moving.”
Wasserman Head of Global Boxing, Kalle Sauerland said: “We march on, to May and the world championship for Lyndon Arthur.
“We have had it confirmed by the IBO that Lyndon is now mandatory challenger for the vacant belt and we will find out his opponent in the next few weeks, but there will be a world title for Lyndon Arthur in May.”
Also live in front of the Channel 5 audience, Kane Gardner edged out Conah Walker after an electric eight rounds in Bolton.
Local hero Gardner was given the nod 78-76 over Wolverhampton’s Walker but both men emerged with huge credit after delivering a thrilling contest.
The fearsome flyweight Chloe Watson closed the show by extending her unbeaten professional record to 5-0 with a four round win over Romina Sosa.
Watson, coached by Ricky Hatton, set a lightning quick pace against her Argentinean rival and, roared on by her loyal army of fans, took a well deserved 39-37 victory.
James Moorcroft earned a shot at the English welterweight title with a devastating second round stoppage of Nathan Bennett.
Moorcroft, trained by Manchester legend Anthony Crolla, sent Bennett to the floor after a barrage of heavy shots and though his Liverpool rival beat the count, the referee decided he was in no fit state to continue.
Victory in this final eliminator now secures Wigan’s Moorcroft a shot at English glory.
Crowd favourite Niall Brown and Bahadur Karami engaged in a fight-of-the-night contender over six punishing rounds.
Both men received a standing ovation, but it was Brown who had his hand raised, winning 59-55 on the official’s card.
Unbeaten German middleweight Denis Radovan saw his blood-stained battle with Fouad El Masaoudi brought to a premature finish in round five.
The ringside doctor deemed the cut above El Masaoudi’s eye was too severe for him to continue and so at 1:45 of the round, the fight was stopped with the referee having Radovan 50-46 ahead at the time.
Other undercard results:
Bobby Faulkner 40-36 Georgi Velichkov
Sultan Zaurbek WTKO5 Facundo Arce
Oliver Zaren 40-36 Frane Radnic
Alex Murphy 40-36 Liam Fox
Katharina Thanderz 77-75 Ioana Fecioru
Ashley Marron WRTD1 Daryl Pearce