Marc Leach Outpoints Chris Bourke, Wins British Super Bantamweight Title

Marc Leach claimed the vacant British super-bantamweight title as he produced a brilliant display of boxing on the move to claim a twelve-round, unanimous decision over Chris Bourke at York Hall in East London.

Speed ​​won the day for Leach, as it had when the 27-year-old record his breakthrough win over Qais Ashfaq in 2020. He drew Bourke forward throughout, but kept out of range and punished Bourke when he missed, which was often.

Marcus McDonnell scored it 117-111, while Terry O’Connor had it 116-113 and Bob Williams 116-112.

Bourke went forward in the early rounds, while Leach, with hands low, looked to counter. Bourke was at times indecisive, though, and Leach landed a good right in the second that knocked Bourke on to his heels.

In the third it was Bourke who made an impact, with a solid left, but the fight quickly turned into a tight encounter. Bourke tried to force his Leach out of his stride, but the longer it went, the more Leach started to take control, as he kept moving away and picked off Bourke on the way in. The longer it went, the more the Londoner got marked up.

By the eleventh round, Bourke looked in need of a knockout, but was he went forward, he was caught by a quick left hand that seemed to stagger Bourke.

Bourke went for it in the last, but Leach stayed out of trouble to claim the win. The referee was John Latham.

“It took 3-4 years to get this opportunity and it was all lined up in the stars,” Leach said, who became only the second British champion from Salford, following his own trainer Jamie Moore.

“I’d love to win it outright, defend it three times and then move on to bigger and better things.”

Karol Itauma continues to look a prospect to follow, as the 21-year-old light-heavyweight moved to 6-0 as he handed a three-round pasting to Jiri Kroupa, from the Czech Republic.

Southpaw Itauma carries plenty of power and gift Kroupa a tough evening, maneuvering him around the ring well and landing almost at will with the left.

The end came at 1:36 of the third round, Itauma landing a heavy right hook and then following up with a flurry of shots on the ropes before referee Kieran McCann intervened.

Frank Arnold stopped Paul Holt in impressive style at 2:09 in the third a super-featherweight ten-rounder. Arnold started well but Holt fired back in the second and hurt Arnold with a shot that knocked his gumshield out.

But Arnold dropped Holt early in the third with a body shot and kept on the case until referee McCann stopped the fight.

Willo Hayden, from Dublin, moved to 3-0 as a pro as he knocked out Michael Walton in the second of a super-lightweight four-rounder, simply overwhelming the Liverpudlian with his punch output.

Hayden dropped Walton with a sharp right near the end of the first round and then followed up with a punch as Walton was on the floor to earn a rebuke from referee Bob Williams.

The end came quickly in the second round, though, as a crunching right sent Walton back to the ropes and to his knees where it took the full count at 1:03 of the round.

Super-welterweight Josh Frankham moved to 5-0 with a third-round stoppage of Dario Barosa, of Croatia, who was losing for the 18th time in 19 fights.

It was very one-sided as Frankham went after Barosa from the first bell, with the only danger to Frankham being the constant warnings from referee McCann, who stopped it 2:46 into the third of four.

Jake Henty was too sharp and powerful for Henrich Herak, of Slovakia, who was stopped after a series of hard lefts at 1:49 of the third of a super-welterweight six-rounder. Herak did well to survive Henty’s initial onslaught in the first and was on the floor twice, but both times referee Williams said it was not a knockdown.

Teenage cruiserweight Aloys Junior got his first pro win at the second time of asking when he stopped Tayar Mehmed, of Bulgaria, in the first round.

Instead of traditional red and blue corners for the night, the corners were blue and yellow in honor of Ukraine.

Ron Lewis is a senior writer for Boxing Scene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 – covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.

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