THE RESULT: Showing lots of good movement, and some sharp counterpunching, Dennis McCann outboxed Brad Strand tonight (March 16) in Birmingham to win the vacant British super-bantamweight title. He won the belt by scores of 118-111, 116-111 and 116-112, and in round two managed to put Strand on the seat of his pants with a perfectly timed and executed right hook.

KEY MOMENTS: Although he wasn’t able to finish Strand, the second-round knockdown secured by McCann was as sweet as they come. Stepping forward behind his southpaw left cross, he then brought the counter right hook in behind it, which caught Strand both flush and by surprise and led to him falling back on the canvas. To his credit, the wounded Strand got up and survived the round, but it was a round in which McCann was dominant and Strand, despite his bravery, was seen on unsteady legs more than once.

RECORDS: McCann, 23, moves his pro record to 15-0-1 (8), while Strand, 27, falls to 11-1 (3).

TALKING POINT: What was interesting about McCann and Strand is that you often got the sense both preferred to counterpunch rather than lead. This Strand did on the back foot with varying degrees of success, whereas McCann, the one forcing the pace, counterpunched while coming forward, which is no mean feat. It was perhaps a mark of his talent that he was able to achieve this and dominate the fight and his knockdown in round two was a perfect example of countering while also being the aggressor. As for Strand, he was told in the corner after 10 rounds that he needed a knockout to win and duly increased his work rate in the 11th. It was too little too late, however. He may have taken the 11th, as well as the eighth, but near enough everything else went the way of McCann.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT: With the British title now in his possession, McCann would be well advised to continue his development by defending it against domestic opposition. He is, after all, still only 23, and although he will have designs on fighting for bigger titles, there is no better belt for him to own right now than the Lonsdale belt. In fact, many fighters down the years have used that title to progress their careers and ensure they take the right fights at the right time. McCann should now follow suit.