Tyrone Nurse TKO-9 Willie Limond
Might have been able to get a good price on this ending early. I don't know. I didn't read the odds. This was a tremendously brave effort from Glasgow's Limond (39-5, 11 KO) who started fast but was then taken apart by body shots from Nurse (33-2-1, 7 KO), who really administered a huge beating in the fifth round, hammering away at Limond's body and busting his nose.
The end came when referee Victor Loughlin decided he'd seen enough, drawing boos from the home crowd and a scream of frustration from Limond, but it was a good decision. Limond wasn't going to quit, his corner wasn't going to want to stop the fight -- and if they did, he may have convinced them not to do so -- so it came to Victor Loughlin, and he made the call. Both fighters displayed some great sportsmanship after the bout. Limond did not argue with the stoppage, saying he was getting hit with a lot of hard shots and that he understood the referee's call. If there was any question about Nurse's legitimacy as British champion, since Limond never lost that belt before an injury, it's now gone.
Conor Benn UD-4 Luke Keleher
Second pro fight for the 19-year-old son of Nigel Benn, a 140/147-pound prospect. This wasn't an easy fight, as Keleher (2-5-1, 1 KO) did more than his job as the opponent, and Benn (2-0, 1 KO) was surely able to learn here. Keleher rushed Benn in the first round, and Benn was happy to trade with him for the most part. Benn did get clipped by some hooks, but he never appeared hurt or shaken up, just kept going on about his business. Was a good, rough little fight, plenty entertaining. Try not to put too much stock into the mistakes Benn made here -- he's a baby in the sport.
Tommy McCarthy UD-10 Jon-Lewis Dickinson
McCarthy was able to largely outclass the veteran Dickinson, a former British cruiserweight champ, and earn himself a shot at the British title, which has not been defended in about 14 months at this point. Scores were 97-92, 97-92, and 98-91. BLH had it 98-91 for McCarthy, as well.
McCarthy (9-0, 5 KO) chipped away at Dickinson (17-5, 5 KO) in the first four rounds, then turned up the heat a bit after that, and put Dickinson on the canvas with a hook in the sixth round, which sent Dickinson's leg twitching in a standing position, falling with delayed reaction. The veteran did survive that round, and got some decent work in after that, as McCarthy, 25 and going 10 rounds for the first time, did visibly tire in the last three rounds. But he closed as strong as he could have in the 10th, too, and earned the win.