By Danny Winterbottom, Ringside
Under the watchful eye of his new promoter Eddie Hearn, British light middleweight champion Brian “The Lion” Rose captured the vacant WBO Inter-Continental championship with a final round stoppage of veteran Canadian Joachim Alcine inside Blackpool’s Winter Gardens.
A clubbing right hand from Rose (10st 13lbs 12oz) sent a tiring Alcine (10st 12lbs 8oz) stumbling into the ropes in a neutral corner and a follow up barrage of blows forced referee Richie Davies to jump to the former WBA world champion’s rescue at 59 seconds of round 12.
Rose, sporting the ‘Matchroom’ quiff, settled down quickly behind his jab in the opening round. A well delivered left forced Alcine to shuffle back to the strands and he whipped in a hook with the same hand that had a noticeable effect on the visitor’s 37-year-old legs.
Alcine, blown away in one round by middleweight Matthew Macklin last time out, rode the shot well and covered up.
A Rose left hand to the body drew a gulp of air from Alcine in the third session and the Canadian began to complain to referee Richie Davies that Rose was hitting behind the head.
“Get on with it!” was the experienced officials curt reply.
As the rounds progressed the fight became more competitive. Rose caught the eye with several well placed and hurtful uppercuts but Alcine was willing to fire back with his own shots to prevent the local favourite from taking full control.
In the second half of the contest Alcine looked to use his experience to set traps for the younger Rose and land hard right hands to his ever reddening, tattooed body. A right hand sent Alcine into a 360 degree spin, but he was more off balance than hurt, firing back with both hands as Rose covered up.
Alcine found himself trapped on the ropes in round nine as Rose wailed away with hooks. He covered up and returned fire driving Rose back across the ring where a sickening right uppercut pierced his guard sending his head reeling backwards. Rose was stunned and did well to remain upright but Alcine couldn’t find another telling blow to capitalise on his success.
However Rose took time to shake off the effects of the punch and struggled through rounds 10 and 11 on my card.
Rose had enough breathing space to negotiate the last session behind his jab but Alcine, going for broke, engaged him in a fire fight. Both traded body shots but an overhand right from Rose sent Alcine stumbling into the ropes and an unanswered barrage of eight blows forced Richie Davies to rescue the stunned visitor.
Another fighter making his Matchroom debut was British and Commonwealth champion Lee Selby who clinically defended the latter of his belts with a fifth round dismantling of previously unbeaten Aussie Corey McConnell.
Selby (8st 12lbs) hit too hard and accurately for an extremely brave but outgunned challenger who was dropped by a left to the body in round three and finally recued in round five by his corner who threw in the towel, not a moment too soon.
McConnell (8st 13lbs 8oz) came into the contest as the Australian champion but he quickly realised he was up against a special talent in the man from Barry, South Wales, who quickly instigated a body attack before seamlessly switching his shots upstairs. McConnell simply had no answer.
He showed ambition by trying to lead off but Selby nonchalantly evaded his blows to fire back harder and more often, finally dropping McConnell in the third with a body shot.
His bravery outweighed his skill but he took a hammering along the ropes in round four that drew gasps from the crowd. McConnell, in my opinion, should have been pulled out by his corner but he was sent out to take a thrashing.
Selby unloaded his arsenal of punches onto the head of McConnell in the fifth and thankfully his corner saw sense and threw in the towel just as referee Terry O’Conner called it off. The finish came at 1-16.
Scotty Cardle (9st 8.5lbs) claimed the vacant Central Area light welterweight crown with a hard fought 10 round points victory over fellow unbeaten Maxi Hughes (9st 7.5lbs).
Cardle, a former member of Team GB, looked fast and focused in the opening sessions as Hughes, no slouch himself, struggled to adjust.
Cardle swept the first three rounds on my card and Hughes took sessions four and five before a head clash in round seven changed the pattern of the fight. Cardle suffered a nasty cut to the corner of his right eye (the cut required 14 stiches) and Hughes was cut on his scalp (six stiches) that poured blood down his face and into his eyes.
Referee Steve Gray immediately indicated to the press row that it was an accidental clash. Hughes caught Cardle with a left hook that worsened it as he was momentarily flustered by his second cut in as many fights.
Hughes improved greatly as the bout progressed but didn’t do enough down the stretch to reduce the deficit. Cardle ran out a 98-94 winner for referee Steve Gray and improves to 11-0 (2) and Hughes lost for the first time with his record now reading 8-1-1.
Matty Askin (14st 2lbs) claimed the English cruiserweight title in a messy, scrappy affair, with a unanimous point’s victory over Leeds’ China Clarke (14st).
Judges Dave Parris and Richie Davies scored the bout 98-92 and Terry O’Conner 98-91 all in favour of Blackpool’s Askin. Steve Gray officiated.
Thomas Stalker WPTS 60-54 Gyorgi Misei (light welterweight)
Ryan Aston WPTS 60-55 Gilson De Jesus (middleweight)
Tommy Coyle WTKO 4 Jay Morris (lightweight)