Felix Cash made a major statement on the domestic level today in London, stopping Denzel Bentley in the third round to unify the British and Commonwealth middleweight titles.
Cash (14-0, 10 KO) held the Commonwealth title coming in, and took the British belt from Bentley (14-1-1, 12 KO) when he unloaded a furious barrage of right hands midway into the third round, forcing referee Victor Loughlin to step in and stop the fight.
Bentley, 25, did complain about the stoppage — he hadn’t gone down — but he’d taken four or five straight really good shots from Cash and was stood straight up with his hands down. Loughlin frankly may have saved him from something much worse coming.
Cash came out fast in this one, doing some first round damage, but Bentley did settle it down with a better second round. Cash just showed his class here, though, and the 28-year-old displayed the same ferociousness and finishing instinct we’ve seen from him on the road to this fight.
“I stunned him in the first round, and I knew it was only a matter of time before I caught him again,” Cash said. “I could just walk through him. When I caught him, I could see him going, and I finished the job.”
Cash said he wants to go after the European title next, which is currently held by Italy’s Matteo Signani (30-5-3, 11 KO), a 41-year-old veteran.
Callum Johnson TKO-2 Emil Markic
The 35-year-old Johnson (19-1, 14 KO) hadn’t fought in 25 months, but he was right back to his familiar warrior outlook in this one, going right at Croatia’s Markic from the opening bell.
That resulted in a great first round, which Johnson won but also saw him eat a brutal right hand from Markic (32-3, 24 KO). The fact Johnson took that shot without going down says a lot about how tough a fighter he is, and he poured on the pressure to the body and head in round two, forcing a stoppage at 2:37.
Johnson has dedicated the rest of his career to his late father, and his ultimate goal is another world title shot, and to cash in this time. He had a war with Artur Beterbiev in 2018, and now has his sights on the WBO title, currently held by Joe Smith Jr.
“I’d jump in with Joe Smith next week, that’s just who I am,” said Johnson, who admitted he was a bit too eager in the ring tonight. “But I’ll leave that to my team to figure out. I’m open to whatever. Frank (Warren) said I could be back in June.”
Callum Johnson has SERIOUS power— Boxing on BT Sport (@BTSportBoxing) April 24, 2021
He unloads at will on Emil Markic and gets an emphatic second round stoppage. Welcome back. Huge fights are on the horizon pic.twitter.com/9CbcaTh98z
David Adeleye PTS-6 Kamil Sokolowski
This is a controversial decision, but rather comically predictable. I scored the fight 58-56 for Sokolowski, the Polish veteran and respected trial horse, because he just did a better job than the promising but still very raw Adeleye. I predicted live that referee Marcus McDonnell would probably have it 58-57 Adeleye. McDonnell scored it 58-57 Adeleye. Adeleye (6-0, 5 KO) is still a promising heavyweight, and while some people just refuse to fully take this in, Sokolowski (10-22-2, 4 KO) is a lot better a boxer than his record. He’s a journeyman. There are guys who are 20-0 and probably not actually as decent at Sokolowski is. There is value in this fight, but realistically they should probably scale Adeleye a step back for another fight or two, because his rawness was on full display here, and he fought like a bundle of nerves once the other guy didn’t walk onto a big shot or just fall over. People might complain, but who cares? They’ll stop if Adeleye steps up and wins when he’s actually, genuinely ready.
David Adeleye landed a big right hand at the end of the fight— Boxing on BT Sport (@BTSportBoxing) April 24, 2021
A very close fight and this punch may have swung it.
He gets a narrow points decision win over Kamil Sokolowski #AdeleyeSokolowski pic.twitter.com/dDorVBwxrH
- Henry Turner PTS-6 Clayton Bricknell; Turner (5-0, 0 KO) is a 140 lb prospect, 20 years old, a southpaw. This was a solid fight for him, a decent win over Bricknell (3-4-1, 0 KO), who had no argument to win but did give a good effort and really tried to disrupt the kid.
- George Davey PTS-6 Jamie Stewart: Stewart (2-2-1, 0 KO) has proven a solid prospect tester, but the real test here was for the viewing audience to not fall asleep. The 23-year-old Davey is now 4-0 (0 KO), winning this on a referee’s score of 59-56, but what a brutally dull fight this was to watch, absolute TV poison. Davey was tentative and timid throughout, Stewart wasn’t exactly raging forward to engage; forget not catching fire or even lacking a spark, this was like the matchbook had been dropped in a puddle and then dunked further in.
- Karol Itauma TKO-1 Ryan Hibbert: Total wipeout here, as Hibbert (1-9, 0 KO) was down in about 18 seconds, then down with about 1:45 left in the round, then down with about 1:10 left in the round, and referee Michael Alexander had seen enough, waving it off. None were heavy knockdowns, really. Itauma is a 20-year-old light heavyweight, was a good youth amateur. He’s now 2-0 (1 KO) after turning pro in December.