THE first England versus Italy match of the weekend ended in a home victory, as Lyndon Arthur forced a stoppage at 2-50 in the ninth round of his light-heavyweight contest with Davide Faraci at the Royal Albert Hall in Kensington on Saturday (July 10).

Italy’s Faraci was game and unpredictable, bounding into Arthur, almost bowling his right down to Arthur’s head and typically finding the energy to come back at the Mancunian when the Briton landed cleanly.

But Arthur was taking charge as he marched forward, slamming in the harder right crosses. Known for accurate jabbing, on this night Arthur worked with hooks and uppercuts off his back hand and step by step ground down the Italian’s resistance.

In the ninth he made his breakthrough. Faraci cantered forward, only for Lyndon’s right to strike him down onto the seat of his shorts. When Arthur upped his workrate he was dangerous. Taking Faraci to the ropes, he dropped him again with a thunderous combination. He drilled a left uppercut into the Italian’s chin and at once his right hook cracked across. He put the visitor down heavily. Faraci was unsteady on his feet when he rose. The referee let him go on, but Arthur only needed another right cross to tip him back on his heels and stop the fight there and then.

With the win Arthur defends his place in the world light-heavyweight top 10.

On the undercard Zach Parker felled Uzbekistan’s Sherzod Khusanov with a savage left hook to the body. Crumpled on his knees, the referee counted him out at 2-47 of the first round.

Archie Sharp came through a rough and at times wild 10 rounder with Mexico’s Diego Andrade with a nasty cut on his forehead and a unanimous decision victory. Andrade plunged into him with hefty hooks. But Sharp switched stances, moved more freely and whipped his own hooks into Andrade’s chin. Tempers frayed, when Andrade leapt on to his shoulder, Sharp flipped him dangerously on to the canvas. Up until the final bell they traded punches with spite. It was a bruising encounter but Sharp’s better skills made sure of a clear points win.

Dennis McCann manhandled John Chuwa. He sank his southpaw left into the Tanzanian’s body and in the second round that cross launched Chuwa across the ring. Knowing he had his opponent hurt, McCann set about him with unrelenting hooks. Chuwa could not escape from those attacks and McCann forced the finish at just 2-06 of the second round.