Matthew Macklin regains his title

Matthew Macklin became a two-time European middleweight champion after regaining a belt he never lost at Birmingham’s LG Arena.

Boxing - Vacant European Middleweight Championship - Matthew Macklin v Shalva Jamardashvili - LG Arena

Matthew Macklin became a two-time European middleweight champion after regaining a belt he never lost at Birmingham’s LG Arena.

Frankie Gavin also lifted his first title in the pro ranks on Saturday night, the vacant Irish light welterweight crown, but Don Broadhurst faces an uncertain future after a points loss to Najah Ali.

The three hometown fighters were all put up for titles on the boxing super-show, but Broadhurst hadn’t counted on being beaten to the punch by Ali for the vacant International Masters belt.

Macklin led the way in the co-main event, as the only one of the trio to be televised on Sky Box Office, with Georgian slugger Shalva Jomardashvili standing in his way for the European crown.

Injured champion Darren Barker vacated the title, which he won after Macklin gave it up this year, for the show to go on without him.

But it took Macklin some time to get to grips with his uncompromising opponent, hitting the backfoot for the opening two rounds as the Georgian came forward.

Macklin started to smell blood after reddening Jomardashvili’s nose and proceeded to open the wound working off the jab, forcing his opponent to retire at the end of the fifth round.

The time of the stoppage was announced as two seconds into the sixth, after Jomardashvili initially came out for the session but looked to have changed his mind.

Gavin also saw his title fight ended on a cut on the advice of the referee, after spending five rounds buzzing around his co-challenger.

Kelly could rarely get a glove on his opponent, except for a big shot in the second with a shuddering straight right hand that rocked back the head of ‘Funtime’ Frankie.

Gavin managed to shake off the blow and went to work, putting right and left combinations together at will as Kelly tucked up.

But, when swelling and a cut below the right eye started to worsen, the fight was as good as over.

Broadhurst managed to go the distance but lost by two rounds to Ali, a five-fight pro novice expected to be little more than a tune-up for the former Commonwealth super flyweight champion.

The fight was up at bantam but ‘the Don’ looked sluggish at the weight, after 10 months out of the ring since his first professional defeat, a points loss to British champion Lee Haskins.

Broadhurst’s left hook to the body was working well but he won hardly any of the later rounds, with Ali growing into the fight and even rocking back the head of his opponent with a big shot in the 10th.

His fellow Second City fighter Macklin managed to get the job done early – in fact, none of the ‘Magnificent Seven’ made it to the final bell.

In the other co-main event, Enzo Maccarinelli’s career is in tatters after a sickening knockout saw him lose his European cruiserweight title to Alexander Frenkel.

Maccarinelli had led on two of the three judges’ scorecards going into the seventh round, but allowed Frenkel too much time to telegraph an uppercut that caught him full on the chin.

Down went the champion and he shouldn’t have been allowed to carry on even after beating the count, barely managing to put his hands up before going in again.

Frenkel brutally finished him off, leaving the Welshman unconscious in the ring and in need of medical attention.

His countryman Nathan Cleverly fared better and is now the top contender to the WBO light heavyweight title, after beating Karo Murat in their eliminator.

Murat was waved off at the end of the ninth under doctor’s orders, with his nose a mess after the British and European champion peppered him with shots in the earlier rounds.

The European light middleweight title was a step too far for Matthew Hall who, as a replacement for Ryan Rhodes, was stopped in six rounds by Lukas Konecny.

Hall had already been down once in the session but gamely answered the count, but Konecny was in no mood to let him off the hook with more unanswered punches that plunged him into the ropes.

Referee Guido Cavalleri had seen enough and stepped in, with Hall announcing his retirement from boxing after the fight.

But Michael Jennings will soldier on despite the heartbreak of losing to champion Kell Brook on a cut, five rounds into their contest for the WBO Inter-Continental and British welterweight titles.

Jennings was sliced open by a left uppercut from Brook, leaving him with a huge gash below the right eye.

It was only his third ever defeat in 39 fights and 11 years as a pro, previously losing to West Bromwich’s Young Mutley and former world champion Miguel Angel Cotto.

The big battle of the heavyweights saw British champion Dereck Chisora take the Commonwealth title from Sam Sexton, who was stopped after clinging on for dear life for most of the ninth round.

There had been plenty of trash talk between James DeGale and Carl Dilks in the run-up to fight night, but the contest was over in a round.

DeGale, putting up his WBA International super middleweight belt for this British title eliminator with champion Paul Smith at ringside, bullied Dilks onto the ropes and let his shots go.

Dilks put his hands up but couldn’t stop the punches getting through, referee Howard John Foster stepping in to stop the fight.

In the non-televised bouts before the show, Joe Selkirk stopped Janis Cernouskis in the fourth and final session of their fight, while Ronnie Heffron took all four rounds in a points win over Billy Smith.

By Craig Birch