Cheavon Clarke kicked off his pro journey in style.
The former amateur standout—who represented Great Britain in the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics last summer—enjoyed a successful pro debut with a second-round knockout of Croatia’s Toni Visic (20-30-2, 5KOs). Clarke scored knockdowns in each of the two rounds of action, the latter producing a full-ten count at 2:01 of round two Sunday at The O2 in London.
The scheduled six-round cruiserweight contest saw Clarke—a Jamaican-born cruiserweight now based out of Gravesend, Kent—jump out to an aggressive but measured start, landing with efficiency as Visic quickly found himself outgunned. Clarke floored Visic midway through the opening round and had him on the verge of a stoppage in the final minute.
Clarke closed the show in round two. Visic managed to land a right hand just before the fight-ending blow, a counter right by Clarke to send the Croatian crashing to the canvas. Referee Lee Every reached the count of ten, with Clarke (1-0, 1KOs) enjoying a successful pro debut after having signed with Matchroom Boxing earlier this year.
Clarke is one of two 2020 Great Britain Olympians on Sunday’s show; Olympic Gold medalist Galal Yafai enters an ambitious ten-round regional flyweight title fight in his pro debut versus Mexico’s Carlos Bautista (10-4-1, 3KOs) in the evening’s chief support.
In additional undercard action:
John Hedges (5-0, 1KO) picked up a fourth-round stoppage of Poland’s Aleksandr Nagolski (2-2, 0KOs), marking the first fight to end inside the distance for the 19-year-old light heavyweight southpaw from Takeley, Essex;
Australia’s Demsey McKean (21-0, 13KOs) preserved his unbeaten record with an eight-round shutout of Argentina’s Ariel Esteban Bracamonte (11-7, 6KOs), winning 80-72 on the lone scorecard of referee Lee Every.
All three bouts aired live on DAZN’s ‘Before The Bell’ preceding a five fight card on the sports streaming platform, topped by WBO cruiserweight titlist Lawrence Okolie (17-0, 14KOs) in his second title defense versus Poland’s Michal Cieslak (21-1, 15KOs).
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox