Daniel Dubois added the biggest name of his career so far to the record when cagey survivor Kevin Johnson was defused and comprehensively outpointed over ten rounds at the Leicester Arena.
“Kingpin” was never the most active boxer even in his prime and the 39-year-old has become even more passive in his old age. Barely throwing a punch in the opening round, Johnson languished on the ropes with a weak shoulder roll as Dubois teed off.
Pre-fight press releases suggested that Johnson was ready to give it a go and was approaching the fight with a renewed vigour following the death of his father. In the ring, it was the usual fare from Johnson who also neglected his excellent left jab. Dubois slowed the pace as the contest progressed and was blowing a little.
The fight provided an invaluable ten rounds for Daniel, but he will need a similar distance, at a harder pace, if he is to be ready when the real tests come. Johnson was tough and durable but too passive to be the ultimate gateway test for the young Londoner who is a relative baby in boxing terms.
Domestic rival Nathan Gorman will be watching Dubois’ performance with interest. A fight between the pair would be an exciting proposition for the future.
British super-featherweight champion Sam Bowen added the vacant WBO Inter-Continental belt to his trophy cabinet when a crunching body shot stopped Horacio Alfredo Cabral in round four.
Bowen looked understandably tense in the opening rounds as well he might in his first big TV opportunity. Rolling to the side in an attempt to let go with the big hooks Bowen was telegraphing his work a little and left his chin briefly exposed.
Tall and rangy, Bowen was the bigger hitter and had the more notable jab. Opponent Cabral was not just your average pudding brought in to lose, however. The Argentine upset Canada’s Logan McGuinness in 2017 but was entering the ring off the back of his second pro loss.
Bowen was finding the target easier in the fourth and Cabral looked ruffled. The visitor landed a tasty right uppercut that the British champion walked through and right at the end of the session the Ibstock man landed a whipping left hook to the body that surprised then folded Cabral.
Referee Howard Foster counted Cabral out at the end of the fourth (scheduled for ten) as the bell rang.
A full world title shot is within the reach of Nicola Adams after she outpointed Isabel Millan to win the interim WBO flyweight strap. The judges had it 96-94 and 97-93 twice to the Leeds girl against a strong yet crude foe.
Indeed, the Mexican was game and relentless in her approach but her technique was lacking and she did not possess the hand speed to trouble Adams in the early stages. Millan did have sporadic joy in the third and Nicola was forced to cover up and guard against Millan’s wild swings. Turning southpaw in the fourth Adams was caught in the exchanges and responded with a smile following a Millan right hand.
The visitor came into the bout late on and the judges had the scorecards closer than BoxNation analyst Barry Jones. Adams went 10 rounds for the first time and looked impressive at times but also showed there are things she needs to work on. Promoter Frank Warren will look to make a fight for the full WBO belt on December 22 in Manchester.