Cunningham outpoints Foster in Birmingham

The Underdog Who Never Lost Hope inflicts first defeat on Lichfield man in contentious decision

Jason Cunningham added to his title collection with a contentious win.

The European super-bantamweight champion, who outpointed Gamal Yafai in his last outing back in May, took on Brad Foster for the British and Commonwealth titles at the weight.

Cunningham secured a unanimous decision win over the youngster to continued the Indian summer to his career at the Utilita Arena in Birmingham, exclusively live on BT Sport, headlining a show promoted by Frank Warren.

Many thought Foster had done enough to keep hold of the titles, but the 23-year-old was left stunned after losing his unbeaten ledger at the hands of Cunningham on Saturday night.

Cunningham produced an excellent second half of the fight and won it with a dominant final round. For the first five stanzas, Foster, boxing slickly, had been in charge, but the Doncaster man, who had a run of three defeats from four back between 2017 and 2018, warmed to the task and piled pressure on Foster, who had a point deducted by referee Mark Lyson in the eighth round. 

Victor Loughlin, John Latham and Ian John-Lewis gave it to Cunningham by scores of 115-114, 116-112 and 114-113 respectively, leaving the aggrieved Foster asking for a return contest.

Meanwhile, Ekow Essuman made a successful first defence of his British and Commonwealth welterweight titles as he knocked out Danny Ball in the sixth round. 

It was an impressive display by Essuman, who was giving away height but was beating Ball to the jab early on and used it to set up some destructive attacks. 

After being hurt in the third round, Ball stepped on the pace and went for broke and he had some success in the fourth as he stunned Essuman with a right and looked to follow up. But Essuman was able to turn Ball on the ropes and trapped him there for a few moments. 

The end came in the sixth, though, when Essuman landed a huge right and followed up with a two-fisted onslaught with Ball trapped in the corner, that saw him fall face-first to the floor, with blood pouring from his mouth, as he was counted out.

Former world title challenger Callum Johnson had to work hard before claiming a majority points win over Russia’s Server Emurlaev in a defence of his WBO Global light-heavyweight title. It was level on one judge’s scorecard (95-95), but the other two went for Johnson by margins of 96-94 and 99-92. 

And super-bantamweight Liam Davies is now 11-0 with five quick after a wide 10-round decision over Nicaragua’s Dixon Flores to pick up the vacant WBC International Silver belt after securing scorecards of 100-90 twice and 99-91.

There were a trio of stoppages –– for Liverpool’s Nick Ball, welterweight Owen Cooper and debutant Macauley Owen –– and points victories for Ryan Woolridge, Amaar Akbar and George Davey.

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