Two Commonwealth belts changed hands via violent stoppage in London today, as Lawrence Okolie and Ryan Doyle dispatched Luke Watkins and Reece Bellotti for the cruiserweight and featherweight titles.
Okolie (9-0, 7 KO) went a long way towards erasing the memory of his February stinker against Isaac Chamberlain, needing just three rounds to put Watkins (13-1, 9 KO) away with clubbing right hands. The knockout was anything but slick, looking more at home in last weekend’s bare-knuckle event once Okolie had Watkins hurt, but his finishing instincts and power both looked legit.
Doyle (17-2-1, 9 KO) and Bellotti (12-1, 11 KO) went to war from the opening bell, trading haymakers with nary a jab in sight. Doyle, a 10/1 underdog in places, caught Bellotti with a right hook early in the fifth that took away his legs, then poured it on until he went down. Referee Howard Foster, he of Carl Froch-George Groves I infamy, immediately stopped the fight to Bellotti’s protestations.
Doyle appeared to be in control of the fight, but it looked pretty damn early to me.
Ted Cheeseman (14-0, 9 KO) also picked up fourth-round TKO of Paul Upton (15-1, 3 KO), leaving fans hungry for a delicious matchup with Sam Eggington, and Rio gold medalist Daniyar Yeleussinov (2-0, 1 KO) took a decision over Zoltan Szabo (24-12, 10 KO).