European welterweight champion David Avanesyan brushed aside Liam Taylor in just two rounds in a dominant display, as a new era of boxing on Sky Sports kicked off without Matchroom and Eddie Hearn at the SSE Arena in Wembley on Saturday night
The clash was elevated to main event status, following the last-ditch withdrawal of Chris Eubank Jr’s opponent Anatoli Muratov due to medical concerns and Avanesyan took advantage with another impressive showing.
Taylor started well in the first behind the jab, however the threat of Avanesyan was clear for all to see, as he walked through everything the challenger threw at him. The Englishman was down from a right at the end of the round and he looked out of his depth.
Avanesyan (28-3-1, 16 KOs) had already got into a rhythm as they entered the second and was showing Taylor absolutely no respect. Middleton’s Taylor (23-2-, 16 KOs) fought fire-with-fire but he was leaving himself wide open. It was all over shortly afterwards.
The Newark-based Russian broke Taylor down and then a left hand staggered the challenger. A right came in just as quickly and then, thankfully for Taylor, so did referee Mark Lyson to end matters. It was the correct decision from the referee, as the stoppage had looked inevitable from almost the opening bell.
Avanesyan is becoming a must-watch attraction on UK shores and this performance only added to the rhetoric. Perhaps a world title tilt will be next.
Former British cruiserweight champion Richard Riakporhe returned from almost two years out of action with a 79-72 points win over Krzysztof Twardowski. Riakporhe (12-0, 8 KOs) grew into the fight, dropping Twardowski (9-3, 6 KOs) in the final round on his way to victory. It was a useful eight rounds for Riakporhe as he looks to rebuild following his absence.
Germaine Brown and Jamal Le Doux served up an excellent battle, with Brown getting the decision, 99-92 on referee Lee Every’s scorecard. The battle also served as an eliminator for the English super-middleweight title and it was a deserved win for Brown, now 10-0, 3 KOs, although Le Doux (8-2 4 KOs) more than played his part and made it competitive.
Former amateur standout Ebonie Jones (1-0, 0 KOs) made the switch to the professional ranks and put on an entertaining debut performance, as she outpointed Lithuanian Vaida Masiokaite 59-55 on points. Jones wasted no time and got straight after Masiokaite (2-11-4, 1 KO). It was a fast and furious display from the Portsmouth bantamweight and she certainly appears to be yet another British female talent to keep an eye on.
Earlier in the evening, cruiserweight Mikael Lawal (14-0, 8 KOs) detonated a huge right hand that scrambled Benoit Huber’s (7-2, 5 KOs) senses and ended their battle in the third round, whilst middleweight Linus Udofia (17-0, 9 KOs) also ended matters in the third round, as he stopped Xhuljo Vrenozi (17-4, 4 KOs) with consummate ease and set his sights firmly on a clash with Felix Cash.
Super-welterweight: Joe Pigford (18-0, 17 KOs) WTKO5 Isaac Aryee (26-10, 24 KOs).
Flyweight: Harvey Horn (9-0, 2 KOs) WPTS6 Adam Yayaha (21-7-2, 10 KOs).
Super-bantamweight: Alireza Ghaderi (4-0, 0 KOs) WPTS6 Stefan Nicolae (3-27-2, 1 KO).
Main image: Lawrence Lustig/BOXXER.