Jack Cullen got off the floor to produce the best win of his career as he snapped the unbeaten record of John Docherty, beating the Scot via a unanimous points decision in their British super-middleweight title eliminator on the Katie Taylor-Miriam Gutierrez undercard at the SSE Arena, Wembley.
Docherty came into the fight a strong favourite, but he was just too open, too often as Cullen beat him to the punch and dominated the fight.
The pair exchanged from the opening bell and Cullen came off worse. After both landed good left hooks, Cullen was caught wide open by a right hook that dropped him on the seat of his shorts. Cullen outdid not look hurt, but continued to trade and while he had some success, Docherty looked like he carried the more power and landed a good left hook off the ropes at the end of the round.
Cullen persisted with taking the fight to Docherty and found success in the second round and caused a cut over the right eye of Docherty with a left hook, even though referee Mark Lyson ruled it an accidental clash of heads.
Dockerty tried to get on the front foot in the fifth rounf, but he struggled to subdue Cullen. Indeed it was Cullen who came back at the start of the sixth and was beating Docherty to the punch.
In the eighth round, Docherty went to throw his left and left himself wide open to a straight right. Sensing he was hurt, Cullen followed it up landing punch after punch that caught Docherty clean. Twice Docherty’s mouthguard fell out while he was under heavy bombardment. Docherty did better in the ninth, but Cullen dominated the last, loading up on shots as Dochety struggled to get his punches off.
John Latham and Victor Loughlin both scored it 96-94 and Bob Williams had it 95-94.
Kash Farooq had his first fight since losing his British bantamweight title to Lee McGregor 12 months ago putting in a classy display of pressure fighting before claiming a unanimous points decision over Angel Aviles of Mexico.
It was impressive stuff by Farooq as he worked his way inside the taller Mexican’s defence, and ground him down with body punches. By the second half of the fight, Aviles was keeping his hands low, but showed plenty of bravery and toughness to last to the final bell of the ten-rounder.
Farooq took time to fund his rhythm as Aviles picked up the opening round on workrate. The Glaswegian did better in the second round, however, finding his range and landing some chopping hooks, although the Mexican was happy to stand and trade.
But things swung Farooq’s way in the third round as he concentrated his attack to the body, hurting Aviles and noticeably slowing his work. In the fifth, Aviles was dropping his hands low, partly to protect his body, partly in the hope Farooq would walk onto a punch. But Farooq moved well on the way in and landed some crunching shots to head and body.
The punishment continued through the fifth and sixth rounds, but after slowing a bit in the seventh, he finally rocked Aviles in the eighth round with a heavy left hook. Farooq tried to jump on the Mexican but walked into a swinging hook that seemed to hurt him, although he was back in the front foot by the end of the round.
Another big left hook caught Aviles square on in the final round, but, if nothing else, he had a magnificent chin and saw out the ten rounds.
The scores were overwhelming, Mark Lyson scoring it 100-90, Victor Loughlin 100-91 and John Latham 99-91.
Former Great Britain international Thomas Whittaker-Hart recorded his fourth straight professional win with a points win over Jermaine Springer in a light-heavyweight eight-rounder. Whittaker-Hart, from Liverpool, dominated from range behind his jab, although he never completely demoralised Springer.
Whittaker-Hart started slowly, but gained some control by the second round when he began to put together some combinations and switched his attack to the body.
Springer came out swinging at the start of the fourth, but after getting through with a decent right, Whittaker-Hart got him back on the end of his jab and gained some success with his right towards the end of the round.
By the end of the sixth round there were signs that Springer was starting to feel it as Whittaker-Hart found him with right hand repeatedly and followed it up up with a left to the body. Springer, though, didn’t wilt and, despite, the Liverpudlian pushing for a stoppage in the last round, Springer lasted until the final bell. Referee Bob Williams scored it 79-74 to Whittaker-Hart.
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.