Leva Kirakosyan became a two-time European junior lightweight champion today with a dominant win over Scott Lawton in Stoke.
Kirakosyan (32-5, 22 KO) dropped Lawton (27-6-1, 6 KO) at 40 seconds of the first round, and Lawton was timid for the remainder of the round, playing defense the entire time. Near the end of the second round, Lawton was rocked against the ropes, and referee Soren Saugmann jumped in to give him a standing eight count. Lawton was clearly on bad legs, and the referee frankly could and even should have stopped it there. Instead, Lawton got to go back, with the bell ringing before he could take any more punishment.
Kirakosyan finished him off early in the third, putting him back on the ropes right away and unloading. When Lawton decided to drop his left hand, a thudding right snapped his head back, and Saugmann mercifully stopped the bout.
At the end of the show, Johnny Nelson commented that Kirakosyan was "the dragon slayer" in England, but I have some issue with considering Lawton a dragon. Without meaning to disrespect Lawton, there's nothing on his record that indicated he truly deserved this shot, and it was clear he was at least three steps out of his depth against Kirakosyan, who is no world-beater or top contender at 130. At 33, Lawton should really consider whether or not he even needs to go back out there anymore. He's had several chances to break through, but has never done it, and this loss was overwhelming. He never stood a chance in there.
On the Sky-televised undercard, light heavyweight Danny McIntosh retained the English title with a second round knockout of tough veteran Tony Oakey. McIntosh (11-1, 5 KO) may be best known for his loss to Nathan Cleverly, which was one-sided but very entertaining, including a kip-up from a knockdown. Oakey (29-5-1, 8 KO) was knocked down early in the second, and recovered only to go down again. As he tried to time the referee's count and get up, he waited about a split second too long and was counted out. He complained a bit, but realistically McIntosh was about to put him away anyhow.
In a battle for the vacant English flyweight title, Stoke's Chris Edwards beat Abmerk Shindjuu by 12-round decision. It was an OK fight, but between a couple of guys who can't punch and really aren't very good. With the win (and the belt), Edwards improves to 14-14-3 (4 KO), while Shindjuu's loss knocks his record down to 7-3-2 (2 KO).
Also On the Card: Gary Buckland won a Commonwealth lightweight title eliminator against Sam Rukundo ... Martin Murray stayed unbeaten with a points win over Shalva Jomardashvili ... Anthony Crolla beat Jason Nesbitt via four-round decision. Nesbitt is now 7-103-2 (5 KO).