Rocky Fielding returned to the ring in style after nearly one year out as he needed less than two rounds to stop Abdallah Paziwapazi on a packed #MTKFightNight at the Eventim Olympia in Liverpool.
Former world champion Fielding (28-2, 16 KOs) was dominant from start to finish, as he earned the knockout win over Paziwapazi (26-7-1, 23 KOs) in front of a passionate crowd, live in the US on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank, and also live on IFL TV.
A big card also saw a win for Fielding’s gym-mate Martin Murray (39-5-1, 17 KOs), as he overcame Sladan Janjanin (27-5, 21 KOs).
Ex-lightweight king Terry Flanagan (36-2, 14 KOs) secured another dominant win, overcoming Jayro Duran (14-7, 13 KOs), and exciting Blane Hyland (1-0) made a successful start to his professional career, beating the experienced Steven Maguire.
Tasha Jonas (9-1, 7 KOs) won inside two rounds as she stopped Bianka Majlath (3-4, 3 KOs), while Ged Carroll (11-1) came up narrowly short as he was beaten on points by Jeff Ofori (10-1, 3 KOs) in their intriguing 50-50 battle. There were also convincing wins for John Quigley (17-2, 3 KOs) and Sean Turner (2-0).
Here’s everything you need to know from a fantastic night of action…
ROCKY FIELDING bt Abdallah Paziwapazi TKO2
Fielding said: “It was a good win. I knew he would come at me swinging to try his luck, but the shot me and Jamie Moore had been practising in the gym worked.
“I got caught with a few shots but that woke me up, and after 11 months out of the ring it felt good taking a few, but it also felt better getting him out of there. It felt like home in there and it was great to be back.”
TERRY FLANAGAN bt Jayro Duran PTS8
Flanagan said: “It was a cool, calm and controlled performance. I nearly had him out of there in the fourth round, and then he got a bit messy after that and started to go in the with the head.
“I’ve had three fights this year now in a short space of time and got three wins, and now hopefully we can get the big fights next year now.”
MARTIN MURRAY bt Sladan Janjanin PTS8
Murray said: “It was a straightforward win. I went out there and enjoyed myself and didn’t get caught with any shots. He had a go every now and then but in the main he just tried to survive.
“I could have probably got him out of there but I think I caught him too early and then he was going into his shell and I couldn’t find the opening. I’m pleased and now I’ll have a good Christmas with the family.”
BLANE HYLAND bt Steven Maguire PTS4
Hyland said: “I got the win under the belt and I was happy with the performance. I’ve been out of the ring for a year so it’s good to get the ring rust off and I want to stay active now and keep the fitness up.
“There was a big crowd in there and I’m made up with the support who came down to watch me. It felt different from my amateur fights and I’ve been working a lot on my strength and power in the gym and you can feel that in the fight.”
TASHA JONAS bt Bianka Majlath TKO2
Jonas said: “It’s always good to get a stoppage. I thought the referee was going to stop it when we were in the first round, but I had to wait until the second.
“It’s becoming a good hunting ground for me here. In 2020 I want more rounds and more fights, so hopefully I can stay active.”
JOHN QUIGLEY bt WILLIAM WARBURTON PTS6
Quigley said: “The plan was to always have three fights before the year was out. I probably shouldn’t have fought as I pulled a muscle in my back a few weeks ago and couldn’t train, but we’ve stuck to the plan.
“It was good to get the win. The next fight is going to be a big one, so I’ll get back down to my proper weight and then get myself right back in the mix.”
SEAN TURNER bt MILES WILLINGTON PTS4
Turner said: “It was great to be out there. It’s been years in the making to get back out there so it’s been tough, and I’m happy to be back and get the win.
“It was amazing to be on a card like this with some big names. I’ve had some really good sparring for this fight, and it was good to let my hands go.”
Jeff Ofori bt GED CARROLL PTS8
#MTKFightNight returns on Saturday for a massive event at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow, featuring the mouthwatering unification clash between Commonwealth champion Lee McGregor and British champion Kash Farooq, while a huge card also features the likes of Kieran Smith, Pierce O’Leary, Tommy Philbin, Paddy Donovan and even more.