DEAN RICHARDSON won the vacant Southern Area super-welterweight title in style, halting ex-champion Nathan Graham in two rounds at York Hall. A terrific right to the chin sent Graham (Aylesbury) down on all fours, and although he beat the count he was clearly unsteady. Referee Lee Cook waved it off after 27 seconds. It was Richardson’s 11th straight win, the eighth inside the distance – and he’ll certainly be looking to bigger things.

Both started off southpaw, though Graham quickly changed back. The taller Richardson (Ruislip) scored with two right-left combinations – Graham rallied, but was caught by a low blow. Mr Cook gave him time to recover, and warned Richardson. It was Richardson’s round, but there were nine more to go – until that single right finished it.

Match a first-timer with someone who has won 12 straight, and looks altogether bigger, and you’d say he was up against it. But London-based Lithuanian Andrius Ruzas delivered, flooring Romford’s Mark Little twice in the third and taking referee Chas Coakley’s 38-37 verdict over four.

The first two saw Little press while Ruzas moved and looked to counter. By the end of the second Little was bleeding heavily from the nose, though there didn’t seem that much power in Ruzas’ shots – but that changed dramatically in the third when a left to the body dropped Little for eight.
Little promptly stormed in on the attack, but a similar shot dropped him again as the round ended. The count continued after the bell and Little was up at seven.

Understandably, Little went all-out in the last, getting close and unloading. He drew blood from Ruzas’ nose, but the newcomer hung in there and took a well-earned victory.

Guernsey’s Brad Watson, former undefeated English super-flyweight champion, came unstuck against Georgia’s Khvicha Gigolashvili, who prevailed in the fourth of a scheduled six. Referee Coakley called it off with Watson in trouble on the ropes.

The taller Watson moved, and jabbed at distance, while Gigolashvili looked to come inside and land to the body. He had his successes, especially in the second, but by the third the visitor had a graze high above the left eye.

But in the fourth Watson doubled over from a body shot he claimed was low – he was given time to recover, and Gigolashvili was warned. When they resumed, a Gigolashvili attack had Watson on the ropes – and three more to the body had Watson doubled over again, defenceless, and Mr Coakley called a halt 2-26.

Afterwards Gigolashvili took the mic to proclaim: “I love England!” – it was his 15th appearance here, and only his second win.

Barling’s Justin Menzie also caused a surprise, pipping unbeaten Londoner Chavez Campbell over six. Menzie took a count in the second but Campbell did the same in the last – and that earned Menzie referee Cook’s 58-57 verdict.

A clip to the body dropped southpaw Menzie, though he seemed to have been more caught off balance. He was up quickly, and in the third a left to the head had Campbell grabbing for safety.

Styles clashed, and Menzie was wrestled over in the fifth. In the sixth a right to the head had Campbell doubled over, both gloves on the canvas – and Mr Cook rightly counted. A low left from Campbell drew a warning, and Menzie was given time to recover.

Croydon’s Ziggy Macauley survived a second-round scare to beat Rochdale southpaw Andy Bishop over four, referee Coakley scoring 39-37. A combination to the head sent Macauley reeling back into the ropes, and Mr Coakley rightly administered the eight-count. Two lefts from Bishop had Macauley holding. Bishop kept trying to pressure, but was caught as he came in.

Four last-time losers came back with wins. Stratford’s Jose Lopes, whose last bout was an unsuccessful Southern Area cruiserweight title challenge in November 2017, outworked Lithuanian Dimitriji Kalinovskij over six for referee Cook’s 59-56 verdict. Idris Hill, also coming back after a Southern Area title defeat (at super-light), well outscored Cardiff’s Rhys Saunders over six, referee Coakley scoring 60-54. Saunders bled from the nose in the second. Jordan Joseph (Hemel Hempstead), out since November last year, had his hands full over four with Chessington’s game Richard Harrison, but his better boxing earned him a 40-36 verdict from referee Cook. Both suffered damage below the left eye. Having lost his unbeaten record to Chris Adaway last time out, Tom Ansell (Hitchin) beat former undefeated Southern Area featherweight champion Jamie Speight over four, referee Coakley scoring 39-37.

Mr Cook had Poplar’s Terry Conroy beating Atherton’s William Warburton over six by 59-55 and Londoner Mo Gharib beating Stockport’s Jamie Quinn by 40-37 over four; and in a women’s four-twos Anelle Massey (Minster) got her first win in three (one draw) by outscoring Slovakian Denisa Cicoova by 40-37 for Mr Coakley.

The Verdict Barring one debut reverse, there is plenty for the locals to cheer.

Dean Richardson (152lbs), 11-0 (8), w rsf 2 Nathan Graham (153lbs), 20-10-1 (6); Jordan Joseph (176lbs), 8-3-1 (2), w pts 4 Richard Harrison (177lbs), 3-40; Anelle Massey (137lbs), 1-1-1, w pts 4 Denisa Cicoova (133lbs), 2-3 (1); Mo Gharib (135lbs), 5-1, w pts 4 Jamie Quinn (136lbs), 5-91-2; Tom Ansell (147lbs), 7-1, w pts 4 Jamie Speight (146lbs), 15-39 (2); Jose Lopes (201lbs), 9-2 (4), w pts 6 Dmitriji Kalinovskij (194lbs), 13-57-4 (5); Ziggy Macauley (185lbs), 2-0, w pts 4 Andy Bishop (181lbs), 0-5; Terry Conroy (161lbs), 4-0 (1), w pts 6 William Warburton (152lbs), 26-157-10 (5); Khvicha Gigolashvili (124lbs), 9-39 (5), w rsf 4 Brad Watson (121lbs), 12-3 (6); Justin Menzie (156lbs), 5-3-1 (1), w pts 6 Chavez Campbell (152lbs), 3-1 (1); Andrius Ruzas (195lbs), 1-0, w pts 4 Mark Little (201lbs), 12-1 (4); Idris (I.D.) Hill (142lbs), 9-3-2 (2), w pts 6 Rhys Saunders (143lbs), 3-20-1 (1).