Blackpool lad, BoxRec forum icon and former pro Jeff Thomas took time out from posing for photographs at his home town's Winter Gardens on Saturday night to run his eye over the Brian Rose undercard.
Scott Cardle 10-0 vs Maxi Hughes 8-0-1
Scott Cardle gave the best performance thus far of his short career as he captured the lightweight Central Area title in his eleventh contest.
Yorkshire opponent Maxi Hughes, now 8-1-1, provided stern resistance throughout and looks a good prospect in his own right but Cardle was just a class above and won the contest in great fashion.
Maxi nicked the first for me as Cardle took his time to settle, a neat left hand catching Scott early on drew on a nod of appreciation from the Lytham St Anne's fighter. By the end of the first though Scott had started to find his rhythm and his head movement began to leave Maxi falling short and open for counters.
The second saw Cardle land a series of sharp lefts and from that point Hughes' eye started to swell. The action was at times frenetic as Cardle looked to walk Hughes down and draw punches. Cardle was just a touch sharper and would land the better shots but Hughes was stubborn and not without class and he certainly made the local work every second of the bout.
Hughes was occasionally hurt it seemed by head and body shots but each time he would dig deep and find his way out of trouble.
A nasty clash of heads left both fighters cut in the seventh and late on Cardle did find himself having to deal with some dangerous flurries from his Rossington opponent but he showed great composure and battled to the end, never quite landing enough to put Maxi in serious danger of being stopped.
Cardle gave the best performance thus far of his career taking a 98-94 decision from referee Steve Gray. It will be interesting to see how he is matched going forward. He certainly looks likely to be a fighter who raises his game with better opposition.
China Clarke 11-0-1 vs Matty Askin 14-2
Matty Askin put himself right back in the cruiserweight title mix with a surprisingly one-sided points victory over unbeaten Leeds dangerman China Clarke, picking up the English championship in the process.
China was in great form having beaten the likes of Wadi Camacho, Paul David and Michell Balker in recent fights but he didn't really get a look in against Askin who used his speed and tidier defence to great effect. The action was quite sparse as both demonstrated clear respect for each others power from the outset.
Askin, with former fighters Mathew Ellis and Louis Veitch in his corner, was simply the more active initiating most of the exchanges and then cleverly negating anything Clarke offered in return. At no point in the contest did he look in any trouble at all and midway through the seventh an Askin right sent Clarke to the deck. Clarke rose and finished the bout comfortably enough but Askin was a worthy winner.
Judges Richie Davies, Terry O’Connor and Dave Paris had it respectively 98-92, 99-91, 98-92 as Askin took the title at the second time of asking, having lost previously to Jon-Lewis Dickinson.
Callum Smith 4-0 vs Ruslan Pojonisevs
Callum Smith is beginning to look a real threat to the super-middleweights nearer the top of the division domestically at least. A beautifully placed left hook to body took out Pojonisevs in the first round. Ruslan had previously extended Chris Eubank Jnr, Joe Selkirk and Kenny Anderson so to get him out of their in double quick time was very impressive. This was his third consecutive first round stoppage after having gone to points in his first two contests. Smith Vs Buglioni anybody?
Thomas Stalker 2-0 vs Gyorgy Mizsel Jr 11-4
Thomas Stalker shone in his third career victory, over foreign opposition in Gyorgy Mizsel Jr. Mizsel was actually very well schooled and looked quite a capable but Stalker was far too busy and never let him settle into any sort of rhythm. It's difficult to say if he will have the power to compete at international level as a professional but this was as impressive as I had seen him and he definitely will be looking to feature at title level quite shortly. The fight became quite painful to watch in the later stages Stalker landing hurtful punches almost at will. Very impressive. 60-54 from Alvin Morris.
Ryan Aston 8-1-1 vs Gilson De Jesus 2-5
Moving to 9-1-1 was Dudley's Ryan Aston who overcame a first round cut to earn a points victory over Nottingham's Gilson De Jesus. Aston started slowly but soon settled into the contest and stayed busy to pick up a 60-55 decision from referee Alvin Morris. Southpaw Aston has a great repertoire of punches and looks to punch with good power but his defence was occasionally leaky and he didn't go through the gears at any point despite having a very defensively minded opponent in front of him. He's certainly one to watch and might benefit from a step up in opposition rather then stagnating at this level which looks somewhat below what he might be capable of.
Isaac Lowe 2-0 vs Delroy Spencer 14-150-3
Morecambe's Isaac Lowe stepped up in class beating the seemingly ageless Delroy Spencer via a notable second round knockout. Just a couple of months shy of his 45th Birthday the always cagey Spencer was dropped by a left hook to the body earlier in the second before succumbing to the same shot moments later. Lowe looks to have decent power for a new pro.
John Quigley 7-0 vs Craig Johnson 9-5-1
Craig Johnson is an interesting fighter- having shared the ring with quality champions such as British lightweight champion Martin Gethin, British and Commonwealth super-featherweight champion Lee Selby he has yet to be stopped - always provides good value and in his last trip to Blackpool had taken the scalp of Commonwealth title challenger Jon Kays.
For four rounds John Quigley, younger brother of talented Liverpool fighters Tony and Nick, demonstrated great speed as he utterly frustrated his aggressive opponent to a point where Craig Johnson decided to slam dunk him to the canvas. Referee Steve Gray, obviously not a wrestling fan, saw fit to immediately disqualify Johnson who had not enjoyed much success up to that point.
Tommy Coyle 14-1 vs Jay Morris 15-35-3
The ever improving Tommy Coyle picked up a very useful stoppage win over veteran Jay Morris. Coyle was very busy from the outset and used his extra speed and punching variety to good effect overcoming a significant size disadvantage to dominate the contest. Overhand rights in the third cut Morris before a particularly impressive combination to the body in the fourth and final round sent him down. He rose and looked ready to continue but referee Steve Gray had seen enough waving off the contests to protests from the very game Morris.
Coyle, who looked very likely to challenge Martin Gethin for the British title recently, looks very strong for a lightweight. It seems only a matter of time before he picks up a major belt of some description.