Belfast boys Jamie Conlan and Luke Wilton now on collision course for Irish flyweight title
Jamie Conlan and Luke Wilton remained on course for an all-Belfast showdown for the Irish flyweight title next year after two impressive victories on the supporting bill at the King’s Hall.
Wilton enjoyed sweet revenge over Usman Ahmed with by far his best performance as a professional, dropping the Englishman in the opening round with a right hand.
The east Belfast flyweight maintained a great pace throughout the six-rounder, setting the pattern in the opening exchanges as he tracked his opponent throughout before being handed a 59-55 decision by referee Richie Davies.
Wilton, who lost to Ahmed almost two years ago to the day, worked very well to the body in the first before landing the looping right hand which sent his opponent sprawling across the canvas with 20 seconds remaining in the round.
Ahmed survived a further, wild, assault by the Belfast man but in the second and third rounds he was once again stunned by right hands and his relentless aggression kept him on top.
There were some fine exchanges throughout the six rounds with Ahmed arguably edging the fifth round but his legs momentarily turned to jelly again in the final three minutes as Wilton finished with a flourish.
Promoter Frank Maloney said: “I thought that was a very mature performance from Luke tonight. He boxed very well, probably the best I’ve seen him box.
“Now he’s put himself in the frame for a shot at the British title, he dominated the fight against a guy who had beaten him before.”
Should Wilton be catapulted into a shot at the Lonsdale belt it will be against Paul Edwards after he took the title from Shinny Bayaar after just one minute and 56 seconds.
A clash of heads brought a stream of blood from Mongolian-born Bayaar’s forehead and the severe damage led referee John Keane to call a halt.
Although the clash was acci
dental, under the current British Boxing Board of Control rules, the title had to go to Scouser Edwards.
British Boxing Board of Control secretary Robert Smith said: “On January 1 we are bringing in the four-round rule whereby an accidental clash of heads would lead to a no-contest but as they stand the title has to go to Edwards.”
Belfast man Conlan also impressed, although the official reason for his victory over Francis Croes was a retirement at the end of the third round.
Unbeaten Conlan gave another classy performance as he rained in shots from every angle and Croes simply had no answer.
Conlan’s manager John Breen now expects him to box Ashley Sexton on February 5 in what should be an eliminator for a shot at new flyweight champion Edwards.
But Breen said: “If the fight with Luke Wilton is there, then of course we would take it. It would be a great fight for Belfast and I believe Jamie would just be too good for Luke.
“It’s going to be an exciting 2011 for Jamie, he’s developing into a super pro and I know that he can beat anyone in Britain.”