Hearn’s best NXTGen card

By Cain Bradley on June 8, 2018
Hearn’s best NXTGen card
Eddie Hearn may have struck on the perfect formula here. (News Group Newspapers Ltd.)

The show was stolen by Ryan Doyle (17-2-1) defeating Reece Bellotti (12-1) to become Commonwealth Champion…

Lawrence Okolie (9-0) added the Cruiserweight Title in devastating fashion to his mantelpiece by viciously stopping Luke Watkins (13-1) in the third round. Okolie had dominate the opening rounds by keeping Watkins at range with “The Duke” getting inside but holding on rather than working. It was a series of big right hands that saw Watkins floored. He bravely got up but Okolie was not going to be stopped and kept the right hands up until he knocked him down again, with the referee jumping in as the towel was thrown in. Matty Askin could make sense as step up although Hearn has to be careful not to rush Okolie and a sideways step could make sense. A Seferi brother or Giacobbe Fragomeni perhaps?

The show was stolen by Ryan Doyle (17-2-1) defeating Reece Bellotti (12-1) to become Commonwealth Champion. He stopped Bellotti in the fifth after a cracking overhand right wobbled him. Howard Foster was incredibly quick with the stoppage, calling it off as Bellotti hit the ground. The two went to war and it was fight of the night. In the second round they exchanged huge punches with their rival backed up onto the ropes. Doyle possibly hurt Bellotti in the third and fourth rounds but the Watford fighter is so accurate and has such a high output that he was still in the fight and arguably winning rounds. A rematch will surely be mandated given the controversial nature of the finish before either man hopefully moves on to a other domestic fights such as Kid Galahad, Isaac Lowe or Ryan Walsh.

Ted Cheeseman (14-0) showed his relentless quality when stopping Paul Upton (15-1) in the fourth round. It was always going to be a scrap, especially given the war of words between the two. Cheeseman as always was looking to put pressure on from the first bell, marching forward, but both man were landing nice shots from the start. Cheeseman kept a vociferous Upton crowd quiet with his uppercuts finding a consistent home. It was the uppercut that dropped Upton violently in round four. He went down twice more before the referee stopped it. Cheeseman called out Anthony Fowler and Sam Eggington before the fight and either fight would be intriguing but I would not be surprised if he merely continues down the WBA route.

Daniyar Yeleussinov (2-0) showed his level of class. He defeated Zoltan Szabo (24-12) on points, winning every round. The southpaw was vicious with rear uppercuts to the body and confident in his range, making Szabo look wild and slow. He picked him off with surgical precision but never really worried the tough Hungarian with his shots. He is less flashy than Josh Kelly and may have similar power issues but he has arguably been just as impressive.

Felix Cash (9-0) continued to win fights, defeating active journeyman Francis Tchoffo (19-15) on points, winning 80-71. Not many manage to stop Tchoffo, even recent world title challenger Maciej Sulecki did not manage that. Cash became the first man to drop Tchoffo when knocking him down in the sixth round with a 1-2 as Tchoffo was off balance. Apart from that moment it was a pretty uninspiring fight and I wonder if Cash would be well served taking it to an opponent. Felix Cash had a clear height advantage and dominated behind his straight punches. Tchoffo did look to work his way inside but never got any clean work done. A pipe dream because of promotional conflicts but if he could take on the Flatley v Williamson winner this weekend, it would reveal a lot about the prospect pecking order in Britain.

I do not tend to be the biggest fans of these NXTGen cards but this was a good show. A surprise always helps, but regardless that and the Cheeseman fights were fun scraps despite there being a strong favourite. The main event was intriguing, although predictable. The card is meant to bring prospects along, but I feel at least one fight needs to be a test. Hearn may have struck on the perfect formula here.

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