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Ennis-Brown, Azeez victorious on MTK Fight Night

Gloucester’s Akeem Ennis-Brown won a hard-fought decision over Londoner Philip Bowes to claim the British and Commonwealth 140lbs titles at the Production Park Studios in Wakefield on Wednesday night.

Scores were 116-111 and 115-112 (twice) in a back and fore encounter, which saw departing Commonwealth champ Bowes (20-4, 3 KOs) deducted a point for pushing down Ennis-Brown. The Gloucester man edged the bout in the later rounds, courtesy of his well-schooled jab. Both men had cuts to deal with, Bowes over the left eye, Ennis Brown around the right eye.

“I’m really pleased to win these belts. My whole city has been behind me backing me,” said Ennis Brown (14-0, 1 KO) afterwards. “I’m happy to be the first person from Gloucester to hold these belts.

“It’s always been a rugby city but I want to change it to a boxing city. I’m hoping I’ve opened the door and shined a light on the city because we have lots of good boxers coming through.”

English light-heavyweight champion Dan Azeez registered an impressive ninth-round stoppage over friend turned rival Andre Sterling, with whom he had spent countless rounds sparring in the past. 

Azeez (12-0, 8 KOs) gradually worked Sterling (11-3, 4 KOs) over, scoring a sixth-round knockdown before the cut and outgunned challenger’s corner threw in the towel in the ninth.

“I’ve known Andre for years, but the build-up meant that I wanted to punish him and then get him out of there. I knew I could get him out of there and it wasn’t a surprise to me,” said Azeez.

“He got me with a good shot in round five, but unfortunately for him it pushed me on even more. One of my drives was my mum, she was suffering from [Covid-19] and was on her deathbed, but thanks to the NHS she made a full recovery.”

In other action, Ireland’s livewire super-middleweight Padraig McCrory (11-0, 5 KOs) blitzed then bowled over Mickey Ellison (12-3, 4 KOs) with a huge right hand in the opening round where the fight was immediately waved off.

Another fighter in a hurry was welterweight Elliot Whale (3-0, 1 KO) who dispatched Corey McCulloch (4-1, 0 KOs) in the first with a sickening left hand to the body. McCulloch got up but was still wincing in agony and the fight was stopped.

Meanwhile, 140-pounder Harlem Eubank (10-0, 3 KOs) scored an eighth-round stoppage over former amateur rival Martin McDonagh (8-2, 0 KOs) who was stunned by a couple of jolting left hooks before being dropped by a right hand. He rose but was deemed in no condition to continue.

In the show opener, Scottish featherweight hope Mark McKeown (3-0, 1 KO) overwhelmed and halted debutant Levi Dunn (0-1, 0 KOs) when the referee intervened in the fourth.

Main image: Akeem Ennis-Brown corners Philip Bowes. Photo: MTK Global.