Hosea Burton earned the right to fight for his old British light-heavyweight title as he knocked out Liam Conroy with a left hook in the sixth round of their final eliminator in Bolton.
Burton was on top from the start, scoring well with an accurate right cross. Conroy was working his way back into the fight when Burton found the punch to get rid of him.
He held the British title in 2016, losing it to Frank Buglioni on a 12th-round stoppage. Conroy boxed Joshua Buatsi for the vacant British title in 2019, being stopped in three rounds. The title is now held by Craig Richards.
“It means a hell of a lot more this time round, because I didn’t realise what I had until it was gone,” Burton said. “To get another chance - it has been a long time, a hell of a long time. To get my shot again means everything to me and I will get that British title back.
“Craig Richards will give it up. He should have given it up so me and Liam could have fought for it, but give it until Monday or Tuesday. Me and Dan Azeez will get it on.”
Burton had a good start, walking Conroy onto his right hand at the end of the first round and rocking Conroy with two sharp overhand rights in the second. Conroy did better in the third but was caught by another right hand just before the bell.
Conroy had some success in the fourth, getting close to Burton and making him miss and when Burton suffered a cut in the fifth round, Conroy looked to be getting on top.
Burton was able to re-establish some distance between the pair, though, in the sixth round and was getting through again with his long right. Midway through the round, Burton threw a right and followed it up with a left hook that landed round the ride of Conroy’s head, sending him to his knees before he rolled over on to his back and he was counted out by referee Howard Foster as he tried to get back to his feet at 1:44 of the round.
“I was landing some good punches at the start, but he still had his power,” Burton said. “I started touching him to the body and I felt his power zapping, so I thought ‘start picking the shots’. He is a dangerous fighter.”
Gary Cully had it all his own way as he forced Viroel Simion to retire at the end of three rounds of a scheduled ten-rounder at lightweight.
Cully is a freakishly tall and heavy-handed southpaw and Simion, a 39-year-old from Romania who had boxed most of his career as a featherweight, could just no get close to him.
From the opening bell, the Irishman was drilling Simion with straight shots and the Romanian endured a tough third round, when Cully landed a series of heavy body shots, before his corner correctly pulled him out.
Cully is now unbeaten in 13. “We thought he would give me rounds but I was just a level above,” Cully said. “He was a tough, tough guy and he took some heavy shots.”