Anthony Fowler secured his second win of the year despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
The super-welterweight was on top from the beginning until the end against former Midlands Area champion Adam Harper.
Fowler, from Liverpool, provided the chief support to the all-British female world title fight between Terri Harper and Natasha Jonas as the Denaby girl faces Fowler’s fellow Liverpudlian in a defence of her IBO and WBC super-featherweight belts.
The main event may have ended in a contentious draw, but Fowler served up the perfect hors d’oeuvre to what turned out to be a fight that will be remembered for years to come at Matchroom Boxing’s Mascalls headquarters in Brentwood, Essex.
It was a painful, one-side beating that was handed out by ‘The Machine’ in what was only his second fight under new coach Shane McGuigan.
The referee, Ian John-Lewis, posed a bigger threat to Fowler, sadly, than former Commonwealth title challenger Harper, with warnings of disqualification being issued after a point deduction in the second round for a low blow.
To his credit, and despite being out of his depth and on the wrong end of some quality work from Fowler, Harper didn’t give up, refused to quit and stayed in there.
The fourth round was the beginning of the end as Harper was felled by a right hand. It was then that the corner were asking their fighter whether he was okay to continue.
He did –– until a minute and 34 seconds into the seventh round when John-Lewis had seen enough and waved off the contest to give Fowler his third win since losing to Scott Fitzgerald last March.
“As we step up the levels – and I know Shane [McGuigan, his trainer] can take me all the way – I’ve got to be better than that,” said Fowler in the aftermath. “I should have been a bit more composed, but I got a little bit greedy because every time I touched him with the right hand he was going.”
Eddie Hearn, Fowler’s promoter, is keen for the Scouser to step up in class now as it seems the rematch with British champion Fitzgerald is off the radar –– at least for the foreseeable.
“[Sam] Eggington, Fitzgerald, Cheeseman. It’s time for Fowler to leap in with those guys,” said Hearn. Eggington was on the wrong end of a decision against ‘The Big Cheese’ in week one of Fight Camp.But Hearn has even suggested that Fowler could bypass that level, questioning whether his man has what it takes to take on Sergio Garcia for the European title.
Garcia will be known to British fans for his victory over the aforementioned Cheeseman at the O2 Arena in Greenwich, London back in February 2019.