Shamrock’s Stephenson shines with first round knockout victory on MK bill

Explosive Luton light heavyweight Marco Stephenson powered to a brilliant first round knockout victory over Thatcham’s Bryan Richardson at Wonder World in Milton Keynes on Sunday afternoon, writes Mark Wood.

Shamrock Promotions boxing event in Milton Keynes. Photos by Liam Smith. wk 30.
Shamrock Promotions boxing event in Milton Keynes. Photos by Liam Smith. wk 30.

Stephenson put down his debutant rival three times in the first round as the 6ft 2ins 29-year-old Lutonian took his record to three wins and two defeats.

The rangy Stephenson had weighed in for the fight at 12st 13lb compared to Richardson’s lighter 12st 1lb.

Richardson came charging in from the start, flailing around at every opportunity, but it was the Luton boxer who landed by far the cleanest punches.

Shamrock Promotions boxing event in Milton Keynes. Photos by Liam Smith. wk 30.

A right put Richardson on his rear after just 15 seconds and although he gamely bounced back up he was on the canvas again 20 seconds later.

And the Shamrock fighter finally delivered the coup de grace with a shuddering left moments later as the referee had not option but to end the fight after just 65 seconds.

It was a superb afternoon of boxing for Luton’s Shamrock Promotions who saw all of their home fighters win on the night.

>> Rising star Hughie Fury scored the eighth straight win of his burgeoning career as he earned a 40-36 points victory over game Moses Matovu.

Fury, who had seen six opponents pull out prior to the fight as he bids to overtake Mike Tyson as the youngest-ever heavyweight title holder, was far heavier at 17st 2lb compared to Matovu’s 14st 6lb.

Fury was given a rapturous reception as he towered over his opponent during the pre-fight formalities.

Both fighter made a cautious start as Fury looked to work all of the angles but Matovu came through the first round unscathed.

Fury started the second well with a low left, but Matovu seemed to grow in confidence as the round went on, catching the favourite with a number of dangerous shots, while Fury just missed with a big uppercut.

The third gradually started to stir into life. Fury registered a great overhand right, but Matovu countered well at every opportunity.

And the round finally burst into life in the closing seconds as Fury unleashed a series of combination that drew a great response from Matovu with th pair trading a series of frenetic blows in the blue corner.

The durable Matovu visibly tired in the fourth and final round but dug deep to reach the bell as Fury was comprehensively handed decision 40-36.

The result leaves the 36-year-old Matovu, from Bangor in Northern Ireland, with a record of four wins, four draws and 29 losses.

>> Headliner Matt Legg scored a resounding 40-35 points victory over former undefeated Czech fighter Radek Linka on his home show.

The 37-year-old Milton Keynes fighter enjoyed the better of the first round, but action was at a premium with neither boxer throwing too many shots.

Legg certainly had more energy than his portly Czech opponent, but struggled to pick his opponent off despite being on the front foot throughout.

Shots finally began to fly in the third as the vocal home crowd got behind their man.

A flashing right just failed to find its target with Linka fighting on the counter.

But Legg’s shots gradually started to find their mark as the crowd hailed their favourite as the penultimate round finished.

A missing gumshield for Legg delayed the start of the fourth but he brought the crowd to their feet as he carried the fight to the Czexh.

A brilliant left, right, left combination had Linka wobbling and the referee had to step in as he was given a standing eight count.

With the crowd baying for blood Legg looked to finish him as a swinging left caused more damage before the final bell saved Linka from any more harm as Legg won every round on the judges’ scorecards to triumph 40-35.

It was Legg’s first victory after a five-year lay-off as he improved his record to six wins and one defeat, while Linka tasted defeat for the first time from five outings.

>> Shamrock’s Billy ‘Boy’ Bird claimed the second straight victory over his pro career with a 40-36 points victory over Brighton’s James Child.

Bird had weighed in for his contest at 11st 9lb, with Childen tipping the scales at 11st 13lb.

Bird enjoyed the better of the first round, with his straight rights a particular menace.

However, Child looked sturdy and dangerous when on the front foot and had his moments in the second as Bird continued to largely dominate.

The frenetic pace slowed slightly in the third, before Shamrock fight Bird looked to sap the Brighton boxer’s strength with a series of bodyblows.

Knowing he needed a knockout for victory, windmilling Child kept swinging and missing in the fourth as Bird proceeded to pick him off almost at will.

Child couldn’t find a big finish and Bird easily secured a well-deserved 40-36 point victory.

The victory moved undefeated Bird to a record of two consecutive wins and left Child with a a record of five straight defeats.

>> Wokingham welterweight Mark Douglas made his record seven wins and three defeats with a straightforward first round stoppage of Colchester’s Drew Campbell.

Douglas looked to boss the first round from the start as he carried the fight to Campbell.

The Wokingham fight had by far the greater range of punches and he too ended his encounter early.

Having peppered the struggling Campbell a powerful left to the body left his opponent crumpled in a heap as the fight was ended just 1.55mins into the first round.

It was Campbell’s 17th defeat from 18 fights.