Florian Marku was forced to climb off the floor, but carried enough power to gun down Rylan Charlton in the eighth of a welterweight ten-rounder at the SSE Arena, Wembley. The Albanian will hope that win was enough to see him get a fight with the likes of Conor Benn, but the 28-year-old looks some way off that for now.

Marku liked to fight in spurts, which made him exciting at times and deadly dull at others. When he put his punches together he looked good, very good, measuring Charlton with some scintillating combinations, However, he seemed more than happy in the opening three rounds to spend much of his time back into the ropes talking, presumably in a derogatory way, to Charlton.

But he did present a dilemma to Charlton, who was permanently on the front foot, often whaling away at Marku on the ropes, but not wanting to overcommit for fear of being open to Marku’s heavy punches.

The peril he was in was shown all too clearly at the endd of the fourth round, when a heavy right hand off the ropes rocked Charlton down to his boots. Backtracking and defenseless, Charlton tried to remain upright, but while Marku almost bundled him through the ropes, he didn’t manage to find a finishing punch before the bell sounded.

Charlton did well in the fifth round, though, managing to keep pressure on Marku for the full three minutes.

Marku was finding his rhythm, though, and be caught Charlton square on with a hard right early in the sixth round and stopped to admire his work. Charlton was still a threat, though, as Marku discovered as Charlton flew in with a left hook that caught Marku clean on the jaw and dropped him heavily.

There was enough encouragement for Charlton that he went after Marku from the start of the seventh, trapping him in the corner at one point and opening up to head and body. Marku finished the round in style, though, landing a crushing left hook that had Charlton on unsteady legs as he walked back to his corner.

He had recovered well by the start of the eighth and after surviving an initial onslaught he got Marku backing of again. The Albanian was biding his time, though, and another crushing right hook staggered Charlton and, this time, he followed it up, Charlton’s corner throwing in the towel as their man tried in vain to fight back. 

“Hey Conor Benn,” Marku shouted out to his welterweight rival, who watched the fight from his position on the Sky Sports “studio” platform.

“Don’t be silly,” Benn shouted back.

Benn looks a few steps ahead of Marku right now, but that won’t stop Marku from being heard.

The time of the retirement was 2:18 of round eight. Ian John Lewis was the referee.

Ron Lewis is a senior writer for BoxingScene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.