Jack Massey is the new International Boxing Organisation (IBO) World Cruiserweight champion after demolishing Bilal Laggoune in three rounds in a career-best performance at a packed out Bolton Whites Hotel on November 26.
Massey had promised a tenth round stoppage but managed to get the job done much earlier after detonating a left hook on his Belgian opponent’s chin, and then piling on the pressure to force the referee to intervene and wave off proceedings to the joy of a feverish crowd.
Bilal came to the UK as the more experienced man with just two losses in 29 outings but was never really given a chance to get himself into the fight.
Massey, from Marple, boxed patiently from the first bell against the former European Title challenger before showing world-class power to become the only man to stop his rival, and claim world honours in the process.
Now 19-1, with 10 KOs, Massey’s stock has gone through the roof and the 28-year-old can look forward to a 2022 that promises title defences, unification bouts, or potentially both.
Also on the bill there were wins for chief support fighters, Nathaniel Collins and Mark Jeffers.
Collins – making the first defence of his Commonwealth Featherweight Title – was predicted to be in deep against South Africa’s Thembani Mbangatha, who came to the UK unbeaten in 11 with five KOs. In truth though, the Scot though dealt with his opponent with relative ease, proving the class that his stellar amateur career had previously promised. Mbangatha was in great shape and had some success, but was ultimately no match for the clever skills from Collins, who had his man down in the eighth before ending matters in the ninth of a scheduled twelve. Nathaniel remains unbeaten in nine – four KOs – and looks a special talent.
Jeffers was given a decent workout by another Belgian visitor, Michel Garcia, before claiming the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) Global Super-Middleweight belt. Garcia had only lost one in 16 prior to the contest but despite looking ‘fleshy’ on the scales proved that appearances are deceptive. Mark – the taller man – was the aggressor throughout the ten round fight, and ultimately claimed a wide and decisive points victory – winning every round on two of the judges scorecards – but wasn’t able to finish the contest early. Garcia proved to be ring-savvy and game as he toughed out the rounds, with Chorley’s unbeaten Jeffers probably learning more in this fight than in his previous 13.
Further down the card there were also victories for Josh Holmes, Zak Miller, Khaleel Majid and Harry Mullins.