Jack Catterall, the WBO’s No 1 super lightweight, had his first fight in more than a year as he dropped Abderrazak Houya twice en route to a points victory on the Dubois-Joyce undercard at Westminster.

The Lancastrian accepted s step-aside deal to allow Jose Ramirez, the WBC and WBO champion, to face Josh Taylor for the undisputed world title, in the expectation of facing the winner next year. He got a good workout from Houya, who boxed for Tunisia at the 2012 Olympics and lives in France, but never looked at risk of losing. Referee Victor Loughlin scored it 99-90.

“I enjoyed that, ten rounds in the bank – boom, we move to next year and look forward to some big fights,” Catterall said. “I’ve been told two possible dates (for Taylor-Ramirez), end of Jan, beginning of Feb. I will be at that fight watching. There is an agreement in place to fight the winner within a couple of months, so exciting times.”

Catterall never seemed to move out of second gear. He was content to move Houya around the ring, but whenever he raised the pace, Houya looked in difficulty. He ended the third round with a three-punch combination that disorientated Houya, although a clash of heads left Catterall cut over the left eye, early in the fourth.

He came close to stopping it in the sixth, when he scored his first knockdown. As Houya tried to land a left hook, Catterall beat him to the punch and landed a left hook of his own, dropping him heavily on his back.

Houya beat the count, but Catterall jumped on him, trying to force the stoppage as Houya held on, although the bell came to the Frenchman’s rescue. 

Catterall seemed to be settling for a points win, when he had Houya on the floor again in the ninth round, landing an overhand left that saw the Frenchman collapse slowly to the floor. Houya deserved to hear the final bell and did. Catterall’s next test could be much harder.

London heavyweight David Adeleye went to 4-0 as a professional as he stopped Danny Whitaker in the second round of their six-rounder.

Little happened in the first three minutes, as Adeleye stalked Whitaker, who gave him no openings. But he upped the pace midway through the second and, after landing one clubbing right, a second one that caught Whitaker high on the head, dropped him. 

Whitaker was up at the count of three, and was soon under pressure, catching him with a right uppercut that bloodied his nose. He backed into the ropes where another right saw him sink to a knee, where Adeleye tried to hit him again. Referee Mark Lyson called a time out, warning Adeleye for the shot on the floor. However, the referee then stopped the fight anyway at 2:09 of the second round, after Whitaker’s corner indicated that they want it ended.

Ron Lewis is a senior writer for Boxing Scene. 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.