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Craig Richards new British champion after upset stoppage of Shakan Pitters

After an early knockdown, Craig Richards appeared to have fallen behind before finding a superb shot to dethrone Shakan Pitters

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Shakan Pitters vs Craig Richards action (Hennessy Sports)
Shakan Pitters vs Craig Richards action (Hennessy Sports)

Promoter Mick Hennessy closed the year last night with an exciting all-action show full of drama and knockouts from the Fly By Night TV studio in Redditch, Worcestershire, to viewers live on Channel 5 in the UK and via a live stream available around the world.

 

6 x 3 Rounds Middleweight Contest
Brett McGinty WPTS6 (59-56)
Jan Ardon
Hennessy’s new signing Brett McGinty made a successful start to his pro career with a points win over the tough Czech born and Manchester based Jan Ardon. The Monaghan talent went in over six rounds instead of the usual four for a pro-debutant. Ardon was a late replacement and a heavier opponent and a big test for someones debut, but McGinty worked well to the head and body and showed his class. He was caught in the fourth and momentarily stunned but got through it and had to fight hard in the last two rounds to get a great win on is debut.

 

6 x 3 Rounds Middleweight Contest
Idris Virgo
WPTS6 (60-54) Kearon Thomas
Unbeaten Birmingham middleweight maintained his unbeaten record with a 60-54 points victory over Walsall’s Kearon Thomas. Virgo hurt Thomas with a good body shot in the second round but Thomas managed to recover and get through it with Virgo looking to finish him off. In the fifth Virgo landed a low blow that had Thomas take some time to recover from. Virgo kept up the attack until the end to get his hand raised and his did his customary bow to the cameras.

 

6 x 3 Rounds Super Super-Lightweight Contest
Stephen McKenna
WTKO3 (Time: 0:36) Des Newton
Irish super-lightweight ace Stephen McKenna ended his year with a knockout performance, flattening Bere Alston’s experienced Des Newton in the third round. McKenna started fast and hard throwing big bombs to head and body as he looked to get the tough Newton out early until he landed a big right hand in the third round. The undefeated Monahan Hitman took his record to a perfect 7-0 with 7 knockouts and now looks ahead to a big year in 2021 with the world’s eyes on the young talent as he progresses.

 

6 x 3 Rounds Super-Flyweight Contest
Sammy Cantwell
LTKO6 (Time: 0:49) Stephen Jackson
In an entertaining hard fought contest, super-flyweight Sammy Cantwell, son of the popular 90s British Flyweight Champion and four-time World Title Challenger, Mickey, was stopped in the final round by Manchester’s pro-debutant Stephen Jackson. Cantwell was due to fight Ricky Little for the Southern Area title, but Little withdrew earlier in the week due to medical reasons (non-COVID) with Jackson coming in at late notice. Cantwell fought well considering he had been out of the ring for two years and at times he hurt Jackson. It was a gutsy and gritty performance from Cantwell, with Jackson also landing eye catching punches and hard combinations. In the sixth Jackson landed a big right hand and hurt Cantwell with more shots before the referee halted the action.


10 x 3 Rounds Midlands Area Middleweight Title
River Wilson Bent
WKO3 (Time: 1:42) Troy Coleman
In the most explosive knockout of the night and certainly a contender for KO of the year, Coventry’s River Wilson Bent landed a huge right hand in the third round that had Burntwood’s Coleman out before he hit the canvas. Coleman tried bravely to get to his feet, but the referee waved it off at the count of ten. Unbeaten Bent claimed the Midlands Area Middleweight title and marked himself out as a big-hitting contender in the division.


12 x 3 British Light Heavyweight Title
Shakan Pitters
LTKO9 (Time: 2:42) Craig Richards
In the main event, fierce light-heavyweight rival Shakan Pitters and Craig Richards delivered an exciting fight to end the year. Pitters, making the first defence of his British title that he won against Chad Sugden in August, was stopped in the ninth round in a real humdinger of a battle that was swinging in momentum. Pitters started the fight well, controlling with his long jab and keeping Crystal Palace’s Richards at a distance, but in the fourth round Richards landed a big right that rocked Pitters and followed that with a right hook that floored the Birmingham man. Getting up at three, Pitters went on the move with Richards moving in to try and find a shot to finish him off, but he survived the round. Re-establishing himself, Pitters then got back to work in the fifth and landed a good right hand at the end of the sixth. In the seventh and eighth, both landed good shots on each other with the fight very tight on points, but in the ninth Richards stepped it up and landed a big right hook to drop Pitters on the ropes. With Pitters hurt, Richards landed a left hook that floored him heavily, bravely up at the count of seven he was still on shaky legs and the referee Victor Loughlin called it off. Pitters will now take time to recover over the Christmas period and plot his route back next year.

 

Richards’ post-fight interview

 

*Sevenoaks middleweight Michael Hennessy Jr. had to withdraw from his fight against Kevin McCauley just before the contest during the warm up after damaging his left hand on the pads. Hennessy hurt it in his fight last week against Dale Arrowsmith and had been receiving physiotherapy treatment during the week which left him feeling good to fight. but when he started hitting the pads heavily the hand injured again. His team felt it would be in his best interest to withdraw.

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