Savannah Marshall is the new undisputed world super-middleweight champion after ending the reign of Franchon Crews-Dezurn.
The Hartlepool boxer defeated her old amateur rival by a majority decision after 10 fiercely-contested rounds.
There were gasps in the 8,000-crowd when MC, Big Mo, delivered the first score of 95-95, but the subsequent tallies of 99-92 and 97-93 confirmed what most in the venue knew, that Marshall had bounced back from defeat by Claressa Shields in her tilt at the world middleweight belts last October.
It was a great effort from the defending champion, but there was no doubting the better woman won on the night with the sharper and cleaner work.
With her old foe Claressa Shields watching on from ringside, promoter Ben Shalom said in his post-fight interview that “all roads lead” to a re-match between the bitter rivals.
Already the owner of the IBF, WBC and WBO super-welterweight titles, Natasha Jonas added the IBF’s welter belt to her collection with an eighth-round stoppage of brave Canadian Kandi Wyatt.
From the moment the Liverpool southpaw wobbled the 32-year-old with her first left hook, she dominated proceedings.
Her left fist did not miss all night and after a sustained head assault at the start of round eight, Marcus McDonnell made a very good intervention at 33 seconds.
There was an upset on the undercard as Zak Chelli, who had been due to challenge Mark Hefron for the Commonwealth super-middleweight title, was outpointed by the unbeaten Mark Jeffers, who stepped in at just a fortnight’s notice. Jeffers ended a worthy winner on all three cards, 97-94 from Victor Loughlin and Marcus McDonnell, with John Latham scoring it 97-93.
In the other 10-rounder, stoppage king Callum Simpson failed to make it 10 early wins in a row as he is taken the full 10 rounds in Manchester by Boris Crighton, but gets a unanimous verdict 99-92 (Loughlin), 97-93 (Mark Lyson), 99-91 (McDonnell).
‘The Surgeon’ was taken into the eighth round by Vladimir Belujsky, but Ben Whittaker clinched his third stoppage win from four when referee Lyson stepped in at 1:49.
Having recovered from being put down in the third round, the Irish/Slovakian was not best pleased to be denied the opportunity of hearing the final bell.
In the show opener, North Shields fighter April Hunter avenged her sole professional defeat by edging out Kirstie Bavington 76-75 from referee Latham.