'Lightning' Lee McGregor becomes first opponent to ever stop Thomas Essomba
Talented Scot lifts his second professional title
Bantamweight prospect 'Lightning' Lee McGregor (5-0), 21 from Edinburgh, clinched the vacant Commonwealth title in just his fifth pro outing against Cameroon-born Thomas Essomba (8-5), 30 from Ryhope, by way of a 12th round knockout.
The Scottish youngster maintained his 100% knockout ratio as he jumped up in levels against a former Commonwealth flyweight champion and English title challenger that had previously never been stopped.
McGregor established distance control well throughout the contest as he ensured Essomba was falling in short with the bulk of his attacks, although the 30-year-old attempted to confuse the Scot as he switched from orthodox to southpaw in different stages of the fight.
The end of round five saw Essomba seemingly knock McGregor down, with referee Ian John Lewis issuing a count, although this was laughed off as a slip by the IBF Youth bantamweight champion.
The Edinburgh-born fighter began to employ positive inside work which provided Essomba with an opportunity as the smaller man, but the former-Olympian was being outworked and started to visibly slow down, spitting his gum shield out on more than one occasion.
Despite having not gone beyond the fourth round as a professional prior to this fight, McGregor showed he has plenty left in the tank late on as he put his foot on the gas and launched a scathing attack to floor the 30-year-old who was unable to beat the count.
In the headlining fight, 2012 US Olympian Michael Hunter (15-1) gate-crashed the thriving heavyweight scene with a thrilling tenth-round stoppage over heavyweight prospect Martin Bakole (11-1).
Bournemouth’s promising cruiserweight prospect Chris Billam-Smith (7-0) captured a seventh consecutive victory as his opponent Robin Dupre (13-2), hailing from Dagenham, retired at the end of the fifth round to land the mandatory spot for the coveted Commonwealth title, about to be contested between Wadi Camacho and unbeaten Arfan Iqbal on November 17.
Three JE Promotions fighters all scored wins - Grant Dennis (12-1) with a 48-second KO, and Lenny Fuller (3-0) and Martin Hillman (11-6) in points wins.
Northampton’s Chantelle Cameron (8-0) retained the IBO World lightweight crown with a convincing points victory over Mexican former world title challenger Jessica Gonzalez (7-5-2). The IBO champion almost became the first person to inflict a stoppage on her opponent, with an uppercut flooring Gonzalez in the seventh segment. The 27-year-old edges closer to future unification fights, including the potential clash with Irish sensation Katie Taylor.
Fleet’s Aaron Collins (4-0) extended his unbeaten record as he comprehensively outpointed Dylan Draper (0-20). The 26-year-old welterweight pushed Draper back for the duration of the contest, who himself appeared not particularly keen to engage.
Southampton’s Jack Hillier (3-0) claimed a third-round stoppage win over Polish southpaw Kamil Jaworek (5-11) as he amounted his third successive victory in the paid ranks.
Controversial welterweight Louis Adolphe (9-1), fighting out of Tooting, easily outpointed tough journeyman William Warburton (26-143-10), as the 26-year-old picked up a second win since the shock first-round disqualification he suffered last October.