Promoted to the top of the bill on his first television appearance, Kaisy Khademi’s big night was ruined by Ijaz Ahmed who claimed a narrow majority decision in their super-flyweight ten-rounder at the Copper Box in East London.
The behind-closed-doors show, promoted by Queensberry on BT Sport, was originally supposed to be headlined by Jamel Herring’s WBO super-featherweight title defence against Carl Frampton. But when Frampton suffered a hand injury. The original chief support, with Anthony Cacace defending his British super-featherweight title against Lyon Woodstock was promoted to the top of the ball, only to get called off when Woodstock failed a COVID test this week.
With the decision made to press on with the show, Khademi, a 26-year-old refugee from Afghanistan who lives in East London was made the main event. At times he boxed well and dominated, but he could never really subdue the aggressive Ahmed, who was aggressive throughout and often caught Khademi with his hands low.
Ahmed did well in the first round, walking Khademi down and finding a home for his short hook. Khademi did better in the second round, catching Ahmed on the way in, but his hands were too low and he was caught by a right over the top on a regular basis.
The third and fourth rounds saw Khademi settle down more, as he moved around the ring and picked off Ahmed. In the fifth, Ahemed was able to apply more pressure, however, and when Khademi back into the ropes he left himself open.
Khademi boxed well for the first two minutes of the sixth round but was again caught on the ropes near the end of the round and Ahmed was dominating again at the start of the seventh round, as Khademi was fighting hard to keep Ahmed off him.
If the fight was in danger of drifting away. Khademi had a very good eighth round, as he moved well and made Ahmed look flat-footed for the first time. Ahmed put in plenty of work in the last two rounds, but Khademi was negative in the last round as Ahmed piled forward and that could have cost him in a razor-thin decision.
One judge, Howard Foster, scored it a draw 95-95, while Bob Williams and Michael Alexander plumped for Ahmed by scored of 96-94 and 96-95 respectively.
Marcus McDonnell was the referee.
The win saw Ahmed claim Khademi’s WBO “European” belt and add the vacant IBF “European” belt too.
Tommy Fury knocked out the overmatched Scott Williams in the second round of a four-rounder at light-heavyweight.
Williams was on the floor twice in the first round, both times from rights to the body. The second time, he spat out his gumshield, which led referee Bob Williams giving him extra recovery time, helping him survive the round. Fury then finished matters with a right hand in the second round, Williams getting to his feet at nine, only for Williams count him out at 2:05.
Fury has now won all his five pro fights, Williams has lost all ten of his.
Nathan Heaney tried his best to get rid of Ryan Oliver early, but despite dropping Oliver in the fifth round, he was taken the full ten rounds in their super-middleweight fight.
Heaney rushed across the ring at the first bell and tried to blow Oliver away, but Oliver covered up well and rode out the storm. Heaney towered over Oliver, who is a natural welterweight. And controlled the early action by landing straight shots.
By the fifth round, Heaney was starting to slow and Oliver was coming into the fight. But at the end of the round, Oliver opened up in an exchange and, after landing a decent right, he was wide open to a left hook and dropped.
The bell sounded moments after Oliver touched down, but Heaney paced himself in the sixth rather than go for the finish. Oliver landed a decent left hand in the seventh, which seemed to rock Heaney, but the fight settled down again and Heaney, despite looking extremely tired, boxed his way to a comfortable victory.
Referee Williams scored it 97-92, as Heaney extended his unbeaten record to 11 fights.
Sam Noakes took only 110 seconds to stop Delmar Thomas in their six-round lightweight show-opener, extending his unbeaten record to five fights.
Thomas, who brought his own 5-0 record into the fight, was caught by heavy shots from the start. Midway through the round Noakes opened up with a big right, followed by a right uppercut and another right hook to finish the fight, referee Williams jumping in to stop the fight as Thomas slumped forward.
“I saw he stepped back with his chin in the air and it was all over from there,” Noakes said.
Amar Akbar was cut under his right eye within seconds of the first bell in his professional debut, but it did not seem to bother him much, as he worked his way to a four-round decision over Chris Adaway at super-lightweight.
Akbar had too much ammunition for Adaway, knocking his gumshield out with a spectacular right in the first and then putting together some nice combinations to head and body. Adaway, though, had his moments and punched the air every time he landed a shot. Referee McDonnell scored it 40-36.
Featherweight Adan Mohamed also made a successful professional debut, as he beat Brett Fidoe on points, referee McDonnell scoring it 40-36. Fidoe boxed on the front foot, but Mohamed was happy to box on the move and collect a straightforward win.
Also making a successful debut was London super-featherweight Masood Abdullah, who stopped Taka Bambere in the second round.
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.