HALL of Fame promoter Frank Warren staged the first of his “Prospects” shows at the Copper Box Arena and saw all his hopefuls win, although the main event proved much harder for Louie Lynn than the straightforward victories for his stablemates on the undercard.
In front of the BT Sport cameras, the Banstead-based Bermondsey man came through his biggest test with a split nine-round technical decision over fellow unbeaten Amin Jahanzeb in an often messy, but always intriguing featherweight battle.
Their 10-rounder was still in the balance when late in the ninth an accidental head clash left Lynn with a horrible diagonal gash over his right eye. At the session’s end referee Victor Loughlin called a halt and, as this was a WBC fight (Lynn defending his International Silver 126lbs bauble), told the judges to apply the WBC rule by taking a point from the uncut fighter.
That left Lynn ahead for Robin Dolpierre (France) at 87-84 and Ian John-Lewis (UK) at 86-85, while Olena Pobyvailo (Belgium) had Jahanzeb up by 86-85. Even without the point deduction, Lynn would have retained via split draw.
One could make a reasonable case for any score: Lynn came forward and provided the volume, while Bradford switch-hitter Jahanzeb stayed outside and countered sharply, but less frequently.
Jahanzeb’s accuracy edged him the first two rounds before Lynn found his rhythm and roughed up his opponent to take the next two sessions. Late in the fifth Lynn walked onto a left hook that rocked him back, but he rebounded to win rounds six and seven on sheer effort.
Jahanzeb upped his workrate in the eighth, bloodying the Londoner’s nose, and it was still nip and tuck when the head clash ended matters prematurely at the end of round nine.
“They delivered for the fans,” said a delighted Warren. “But looking at Lynn’s eye it’ll be a while before there can be a rematch.”
Said Lynn, “I wasn’t too pleased with my performance but I got the win.”
Tall Portsmouth southpaw Mark Chamberlain continued his exciting progress by forcing Ghana’s Benjamin Lamptey to retire after four rounds of a scheduled eight at lightweight. Early on Lamptey used his handspeed to clip Chamberlain a couple of times, but generally the former national amateur champion controlled matters with his steady boxing and greater power.
When the African overreached with a wild right in round two, Chamberlain countered with a left to drop him for an eight count. Then late in round four a thumping right-left to the body made Lamptey go down in delayed reaction, and during the interval his corner pulled him out.
The plan is still for Chamberlain to meet promotional stablemate Sam Noakes, who was ringside for this. If it happens, it will be one not to miss.
Chas Coakley was the referee, as was the case for the super-feather six that saw Hackney’s Frank “Tank” Arnold stop Lee Glover (Tipton) in the opening round. Two consecutive lefts made Glover buckle and put a glove on the canvas, and although Lee quickly righted himself, Coakley waved it off.
The other seven fights were all over four rounds, convincing wins abounding. In an all-southpaw bout at light-heavyweight Chatham’s former amateur star Karol Itauma proved too big and strong for Middleton’s Darryl Sharp, outpointing him 40-36 for referee Kieran McCann. Stylish Itauma piled up points with his jab and had Sharp sagging from hurtful body blows, but the journeyman showed grit to reach the final bell. One-time GB amateur squad member Callum Thompson, a Liverpudlian now training in Manchester with Joe Gallagher, showed his class in beating Telford’s Dean Jones at lightweight. Compact Thompson, a southpaw, dropped Jones halfway through the opener with a left-right then used his good variety to outbox the rugged Midlander for a 40-35 score from referee Coakley. After three points win to start his career, Reading’s Joshua Frankham got his first stoppage when halting Matija Petrinic in the second round at welterweight. Looking bigger, Frankham outworked his Croatian opponent steadily before Petrinic went down late in round one from rights to the head followed by a right downstairs. The second went the same way until more big right-handers put Petrinic down again, for Mr McCann to halt matters at 1-37. McCann handled the super-bantam contest that saw Ilford’s popular Umar Khan take a comprehensive 40-36 verdict over Hull’s Luke Fash. Switching from orthodox to southpaw and back again, Khan used his advantages in height and reach to pile up the points. Experienced Fash soaked it all up and offered plenty of movement.
A welterweight meeting of debutants brought victory for Brick Lane’s Khalid Ali when he stopped Dean Wilkinson (Middleton) in the fourth and last. Southpaw Ali came forward looking to land his left cross but Wilkinson stayed on the move to keep out of trouble – until the last, when a left-right dropped him. He was up at seven for the mandatory eight count, but when he absorbed a body shot followed by two head blows, referee Coakley had seen enough. Time: 1-26.
When Congo-born Finchley super-welter Jonathan Kumuteo made a winning debut five months ago it was behind closed doors. So he was delighted to have an audience for what he called his real professional debut – and he outpointed Stourbridge super-journeyman Kevin McCauley by 40-36 for Mr McCann.
After winning his first two fights on points, Buckhurst Hill featherweight Adan Mohamed stopped Shrewsbury’s Luke Merryfield in two rounds. A sharp right stunned Merryfield, prompting Mohamed to follow up with a stream of solid blows from either hand to have him on ropes and badly dazed, whereupon referee Coakley intervened.
The Verdict A rematch will hold plenty of interest, once Lynn’s injuries have healed.