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Iain Dolan reports from ringside for Off the Hook.

Heroic underdog Asley Lane captured the British and commonwealth Bantamweight titles with a huge upset of favourite Chris Bourke at York Hall on Friday night. The first round saw things go according to form as Bourke landed some heavy shots that cut and marked up Lane. Lane was not going to let his big moment go without a fight though and fight, he did. From the 2nd round Lane began relentlessly throwing leather and backed Bourke to the ropes repeatedly. I kept expecting Bourke to regroup and re-assert himself but the moment never came. Lane never took his foot off the gas and even more astonishingly, a man with only two stoppage wins to his name, looked to be hurting Bourke. Despite being afforded every opportunity to recover in the 6th, the Lane onslaught became too much and referee Lee Every waved the fight off in the midst of yet another barrage. Real fairy tale stuff for the 33 year old Lane and hopefully a name fighter with commensurate purse comes his way next. 

Heavyweight hot prospect Moses Itauma made short work of Dan Garber with the fight halted in the 1st round. The stoppage seemed a bit early and Garber was non-plussed but it was one way traffic. It must be challengiong to get decent opponents for Itauma without posing too much of a risk to his progress but we must hope he gets a stiffer test on the Fury v Usyk card in Saudi in May. Itauma moves to 8-0.

Light heavyweight Willy Hutchinson also enjoyed an early night with Germany’s Martin Houben stopped on his feet in the 2nd round. Hutchinson landed some heavy combinations in the 1st and dropped Houben hard in the 2nd round. Houben made it back to his feet but one more Hutchinson attack and the referee had seen enough and stepped in at the right time.

Southampton prospect Royston Barney-Smith also KO victory to his record as he stopped  Jose Manuel Perez in the 4th round of a scheduled eight at super-featherweight.  Barney-Smith dictated throughout and a double left hook in the fourth floored Perez for the full count.

It was an enjoyable night at York Hall which was only about 2/3rds full but that meant it wasn’t too much stress getting served at the bar and you could move about quite easily. I spoke briefly to Raven Chapman who was originally slated to fight on this show but an injured shoulder prevented it. Her recovery is going well and she hopes to be out again in June. Also at ringside was Russian socialite Elena Piumarta, known to her fans as The Mermaid of Murmansk. One can only speculate as to what she thought of the wine list in York Hall.

I popped into the Salmon and Ball before the show and can confirm that they are now taking card payments (I have mixed feelings about this.) Also, and because of all the stoppage wins, the show was finished by 10:30pm so I managed to make it into  the Dundee arms afterwards in time for tea and medals. A good night all round.


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