Contender VIP finals live up to hard-hitting expectations as Diego Costa dramatically stops Boris Creighton to win the Phil Martin Trophy
Contender VIP had promised hard-hitting action from some of Britain and Ireland's top prospects and it certainly did not disappoint, as Manchester-based Brazilian Diego Costa produced a sensational knockout against previously undefeated Boris Creighton to win the inaugural Phil Martin Trophy.
Prior to the fourth round, it had been Creighton edging proceedings, using his natural size advantage and movement to keep Costa at bay. This all changed in round four, however, as Costa unloaded bombs which seemed to come from nowhere, sending his opponent crashing to the canvas. Creighton at this point was on unsteady legs and after another flurry of power punches to send Creighton to the floor again, the referee stepped in to stop proceedings.
Costa, a proud product of Oliver Harrison's Gym in Salford, was emotional as he collected the Phil Martin Trophy along with a cool payday of ten thousand pounds. Costa, who had Humphrey Harrison and world title contender Martin Murray in his corner, reacted to his victory.
Costa said, "I want to dedicate this victory to Oliver Harrison. I owe Oliver so much and this victory was for him tonight and the whole team at Oliver's gym.
"Boris is a good fighter, and he will come back, it was my night tonight and things I had been working on in the gym paid off. I knew when I landed I could hurt him and I did and I am overwhelmed with the victory.
"Thank you to Mike Le-Gallez and the team at Contender VIP for giving me this great opportunity. Now my career can really take off and I can try and get my hands on titles even as low as middleweight as I still believe I can fight anywhere between 160-175 pounds."
The undercard saw a shootout between Swedish Champion Ahmed Rossi and Celtic Champion Jay Byrne where both men were hurt and both had points deducted in the hard-fought affair which saw Rossi emerge victoriously.
Anthony Crolla trained Jake James continued his impressive start to the professional ranks as he comfortably outboxed Josue Bandana to win a lopsided points decision. The show also saw victories for John Telford, Ryan Doyle, Jimmy First, and Jermaine Springer.
Contender VIP chief MIke Le-Gallez gave his breakdown of the night's action, "I was absolutely delighted with how the event went. We had a buzzing sold-out show which is not an easy thing to do these days itself, and our fights were all competitive, with even the so-called 'journeymen' coming to win and putting on entertaining clashes. That is what fight fans want to see.
"The whole point of the Phil Martin Trophy and Contender VIP was to channel the beliefs and vision that Phil had for boxing. I believe we have really done our best to emulate that and that can be seen in the final. Two previously undefeated fighters leaving it all the ring, with a dramatic finish from Costa who people believe was behind in the fight. There were no losers tonight, only winners and I'm very excited for our next event in March that we will announce in due course."