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Arthur halts Faraci in nine, Parker blasts out Khusanov

Lyndon Arthur took another step towards a future shot at the WBO light-heavyweight title, getting past a spirited effort from Italy’s Davide Faraci at London’s Royal Albert Hall on Saturday night.

Arthur (19-0, 13 KOs) retained his WBO Intercontinental belt and his No.1 ranking with the sanctioning body, finally breaking down Faraci and stopping him in the ninth while handing the visitor his first professional defeat. It wasn’t a vintage performance, but ‘King’ Arthur ended matters emphatically.

It was a slow start by the Mancunian, as Faraci pressed forward with intent. However, a sharp left hand in the opening moments of the second showed that Arthur had settled the nerves. Faraci, however, was scrappy, despite the obvious gulf in power, giving as good as he had whilst Arthur bided his time, waiting for the perfect opening.

Arthur was never fazed by the Italian’s arsenal, but Faraci was certainly landing his fair share of leather. A body shot in the fourth though had Faraci glancing at referee Marcus McDonnell and Arthur kicked into a higher gear. It was beginning to look ominous for Faraci, as Arthur began to rain down with his own barrages and he was homing in on his target by the end of the fifth.

Faraci was outgunned and outmanned, but his survival instincts were sharp as he got through the sixth with no discomfort. However, after a brief respite, Arthur was back in the seventh, although it was starting to look a far from impressive showing. Until the ninth, when Arthur uncorked a sharp right hand that put Faraci down on the canvas. Having looked flat, Arthur got the shake he needed and was once again firing. A further knockdown signalled the end was imminent and McDonnell stepped in shortly after to save the brave Italian.

WBO No.1 super-middleweight contender Zach Parker has not been shy in recent months. He has been making some big statements about a potential bout with Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez. Parker this time let his fists do the talking as he dispatched Sherzod Khusanov, a double Olympian who had never been stopped before, inside the first following a sickening left hook to the body.

Parker (21-0, 15 KOs) held on to his lofty ranking with the WBO as well as the organisation’s International belt. It was another good performance by the Derbyshire man who, if he hopes to achieve his ambition of fighting Canelo, will need some stiffer tests than the 41-year-old Uzbek he faced tonight.

Archie Sharp inched a little closer towards a shot at the WBO super-featherweight title, as he left the Albert Hall with the Global belt wrapped around his waist. The three judges turned in scores of 99-93 and 97-93 (twice) as Sharp and Mexican opponent Diego Andrade engaged in a scrap that wouldn’t have looked out of place in the car park. After shrugging off a nasty cut over his right eye, Sharp’s record now stands at 20-0, 9 KOs.

Bantamweight Dennis McCann added to his growing reputation, proving to be a total ‘Menace’ for John Chuwa, who was stopped in the second round. The 20-year-old improves to 10-0, 6 KOs, adding the ungainly Tanzanian to his ledger of stoppages. McCann wasted no time going after Chuwa, eager to get him out of there after his two previous fights went the distance. Referee Lee Every was equally eager to help him out, saving a grateful Chuwa.

Karol Itauma also remained undefeated, as he blasted his way past Tim Ventrella with significant ease. Once a highly-touted amateur with a Youth Olympic gold medal on his resumé, Itauma moved to 3-0, 2 KOs, since turning over in late 2020. Despite his lack of real opposition so far, light-heavyweight Itauma does appear to have a bright future in the sport and could well be one to keep an eye on.

Sam Noakes could also be one to follow as he was relentless in his pursuit of Lee Connelly, who was pulled out by his cornerman after the third round. Lightweight Noakes has now stopped all six of his opponents in the pro ranks and looks to be a real handful. A win over the durable Connelly is a good nod for any British prospect and Noakes now appears to be on a collision course with Portsmouth hope Mark Chamberlain, which will be a clash that is not to be missed.

Main image: Queensberry Promotions.