Fighting before a hometown crowd, British super lightweight Jack Catterall turned away countryman Joe Hughes by unanimous decision in a robust 12-round contest at the Premier Suite inside the Bolton Wanderers soccer stadium in Greater Manchester on Friday, May 13. It was the fifteenth win without defeat for Catterall. Hughes dips to 14-2. The match, which topped a 12-fight card, was televised live on BoxNation, the pay channel controlled by veteran British promoter Frank Warren.
Catterall, a 22-year-old southpaw, has sparred with Floyd Mayweather and Canelo Alvarez. He is being hyped as the next Ricky Hatton. He was the busier fighter vs. Hughes, who gave a commendable effort. The scores were 115-113, 117-113, and 117-112.
In the main supporting bout, Luke Blackledge (21-2-2, 8 KOs) was victorious in the second defense of his Commonwealth (British Empire) 168-pound title, stopping Ishmael Tettah (now 31-13-2) in the fifth stanza. A fighter of indeterminate age from Ghana, Tettah was done in by a body punch. Blackledge has many options going forward, among them a possible match with the winner of the upcoming bout between George Groves and Martin Murray.
Jimmy Kilrain Kelly, now 17-1, won an 8-round decision over Michael Mora, a Nicaraguan fighting out of Spain. This was Kelly’s first outing since getting TKOed by Liam Smith in a bout for Smith’s WBO World 154-pound title. Kelly won every round. On the deck twice in the final stanza, Mora was saved by the bell.
In his third outing on British soul, Kiryl Relikh, a super lightweight from Belarus, stopped Brazil’s Joaquim Carneiro. Relikh is now 21-0 (19). Carneiro was retired by his corner after the fourth round.
In another undercard bout of note, 30-year-old Indian super middleweight Vijender Singh continued his rapid ascent with a third-round stoppage of Poland’s Andrzej Soldra who was 12-3-1 going in. Singh, a three-time Olympian who won bronze at the 2008 Beijing games — the first ever Olympic medal for a boxer from India – has won on all six of his professional fights inside the distance. He is scheduled to fight again on July 16 in Delhi. A large crowd is expected to turn out for his homecoming.