Ryan Aston halts Harry Matthews for first belt
Dudley's Ryan Aston bossed fight night at Wolverhampton Civic Hall to win his first title after his foe retired with a rib injury at the start of the fourth round.
Harry Matthews' movement had been impaired by a crunching body shot in the previous session and, with his left eye also marked, punishment for the other six scheduled rounds seemed futile.
It brought to an end Aston's best performance in the pro ranks to date in his 12th paid contest and he left the Civic with the British Masters super middleweight belt around his waist.
Saturday night's match was made outside of the 22-year-old's usual realm of middleweight as Matthews had stepped in at just over a couple of days notice but it was, nonetheless, impressive.
The never-stopped 'Pocklington Rocket,' a former Central Area champion and English title challenger, certainly didn't bully Aston as he would have liked.
Aston bounced out of the corner from the opening bell and soon connected with two right hooks but was reminded to take due care as he went for a third, tagged with an uppercut on the way in.
He realised he was the man in charge as he returned to the corner and the right hook was his primary weapon, but he bamboozled Matthews back into the corner with a big left in the second.
Matthews kept on coming forward in the third right up until he was hurt by a loaded right hook to the ribcage that nearly took him off his feet and signalled the beginning of the end.
There was deliberation at the end of the round as Matthews considered boxing on with trainer Glenn Banks making the call to retire to the referee, Dudley's Shaun Messer, one second into the fourth.
What was supposed to be a five-fight undercard turned into four contests with Swadlincote's Craig Wilshee left dismayed after his opponent, Worthing's James Child, no-showed the event.
The reasons given to spectators was that Childs was on board a train from London to Birmingham that had struck a person on the tracks, forcing an hours-long delay that saw the bout cancelled.
Tipton's Ricky Summers was just pleased to be in action on the under-card after months out of the ring due to the sad passing of his mother, Shirley, who lost her battle with leukaemia in March.
He dedicated the fight to her memory and had to lose nearly a stone-and-a-half to make 13st 8oz on fight night as Summers, usually a campaigner at light heavy, struggled with his personal grief.
A puncher from Derby in Elvis Dube wasn't the easiest introduction back into pro life for the former senior ABA national semi-finalist, who had two fights paid experience, but he coped well.
Wisely unwilling to trade with a heavy hitter, Summers stayed behind his jab and enjoyed success when putting his punches together in the second, a left-right combination around Dube's guard.
Summers kept his head moving to record a shut-out points victory on Messer's card by 40-36, getting the 25-year-old back up and running going into the autumn.
The third fighter on the card from Paul Gough's gym in Dudley, the home of Priory Park Amateur Boxing Club in Dudley, was Bloxwich's Luke Paddock and he experienced his best night as a pro, too.
Paddock opened the show with a light welterweight four-rounder against Paul Haines, officiated by Wolverhampton's Gareth Morris and grew in confidence, his best spell coming in the third.
The 21-year-old skipped around Haines and picked punches in one-shot attacks but his adversary answered back with a right hand of his own, although Paddock retained accuracy to the final bell.
While it wasn't the 40-36 points shut-out he had been hoping for, sharing a round at 40-37, it was pleasing for Paddock, who has been given nothing easy in the paid world so far.
Wolverhampton's Des Bowater has also been matched well since turning over and engaged in fight number two against the comer from Bristol, Harvey Hemsley, in four rounds at super featherweight.
Hemsley hadn't come to lose – he ploughed forward from the off with a game-plan to smother his opponent and negate his boxing skills, forcing Bowater to think on his feet.
'The Wednesfield Warrior' had managed to land a two-punch combination and a right to the head in the first round and let his hands go in a trade-off at the ropes in the second, pegging Hemsley back.
Bowater worked the body in the third and was cruising by the fourth as he picked one-shot attacks to record another land-slide points success with Morris by 40-36.
The card was completed by the professional debut of Brummie banger Jordan Clayton, a national finalist in the Clubs for Young People and junior ABA competitions as an amateur.
Clayton was paired in a super middleweight four-rounder with Congo-born Geordie Didier Blanche, who looked to evade punches but was regularly caught with left hooks early on.
Switching attacks to body and head confused Blanche in the third and he was set hurtling into the corner by a big left but he was rarely peppered with the jab, as Clayton looked solely for the big shots.
He was even standing off in the last round as he saw out a points shut-out on Mr Morris' ledger, by 40-36.
By Craig Birch
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