In an intriguing clash of domestic title holders, Commonwealth middleweight king Felix Cash elevated his stature with an impressive three-round bombardment of British champion Denzel Bentley at the York Hall, Bethnal Green, on Saturday night.
What appeared to be a 50-50ish encounter on paper, turned into a rout in reality as Cash took Bentley apart with his power, devilry and incision.
“I stunned him in the first round and I knew it was only a matter of time before I caught him again. The more the fight was going, I was relaxing and I was walking through him. I caught him, I saw he was gone and I finished the job,” Cash told BT Sport’s Steve Bunce afterwards.
“He wasn’t as awkward as I thought he might be. I thought it might take me six or seven rounds to break him down. When I got in there, I was hitting him. That was a bit of a statement. I said I was a level above him before the fight, I showed it in the ring.”
In the first round, a hefty Cash right hand caught switch-hitter Bentley’s immediate attention with the Commonwealth champion trapping his South London rival in a corner in the aftermath of that venomous strike.
Battersea’s Bentley (14-1-1, 12 KOs) had a brighter second after that early setback. But Cash (14-0, 10 KOs) seemed to hold a decisive edge in strength, power and schooling, and so it proved.
He buzzed Bentley with a thumping right hand by the ropes in the third and seized the advantage by the scruff of the neck, unleashing a vicious slew of right-handers. On the fifth unanswered and hammering blow, referee Victor Loughlin, the best in British boxing, expertly intervened with Bentley stunned and defenceless.
Trained by the astute Tony Sims, Cash’s stock rose considerably in a ruthless performance. Now the British and Commonwealth champion, he looks a dark horse among the middleweights.
After a 25-month hiatus, the big-punching Callum Johnson (19-1, 14 KOs) returned to the light-heavyweight fray with an entertaining two-round dismissal of decent Croatian Emil Markic in a fast-paced, short fight.
The opening round was a case of bombs away as a business-like Johnson went for the jugular early. The Boston banger unloaded with heavy hands, swelling his foe’s left eye but, despite his clear edge in the exchanges, he was buckled by the punch of the round – a huge Markic right hand.
But former IBF title challenger Johnson was not about to ease a breakneck pace. He battered Bosnian Markic (32-3, 24 KOs) to the body in a ceaseless second, pegging him on the ropes and unleashing an endless flow of punches. Gradually, Markic wilted on the ropes under an avalanche of blows with referee Steve Gray stepping in after a final right hand with the visitor not throwing back.
Earlier, highly-rated heavyweight prospect David Adeleye was almost given a rude awakening by lively Pole Kamil Sokolowski, narrowly scraping home 58-57 on referee Marcus McDonnell’s scorecard. Ladbroke Grove’s Adeleye (6-0, 5 KOs) neglected his jab in favour of a fight-ending bomb that never came and it almost cost him as he was often outhustled by a motivated Sokolowski (10-22-2, 4 KOs).
Main image: Queensberry Promotions.