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Es­suman tunes up for ti­tle tilt by out­class­ing Paplauskas, writes David Wain­wright from ring­side RE­SPECTED re­tired boxer-now­pro­moter Matt Scriven and his Robin Hood Sport­ing Club re­turned to pro­fes­sional box­ing af­ter a near seven-year hia­tus at the Bri­tan­nia Ho­tel. The six-round main event saw Not­ting­ham’s un­de­feated wel­ter­weight Ekow Es­suman ex­tend his win­ning record with a com­fort­able 60-54 points vic­tory over Lithuania’s Edv­inas Paplauskas.

Es­suman used this fight as a tuneup ahead of his Oc­to­ber 20 va­cant English wel­ter­weight ti­tle show­down with Andy Keates, and was in con­trol from start to fin­ish. In par­tic­u­lar he used the left jab to good ef­fect whilst Paplauskas had lit­tle or no an­swer to his su­pe­rior op­po­nent.

The Lithua­nian was clearly tired go­ing into the fi­nal round but Es­suman was quite happy to see it through to the end with one eye on his up­com­ing fight.

It was blink-and-you-miss-it as Not­ting­ham light­weight Del­mar Thomas stopped Bris­tol’s Har­vey Helm­s­ley af­ter only 22 sec­onds of his de­but in the paid ranks (set for six).

Thomas caught his op­po­nent with a big left hand and fol­lowed up with a bar­rage of heavy shots, leav­ing ref­eree Kevin Parker to wave the con­test over in or­der to save Helm­s­ley from any se­ri­ous dam­age.

Helm­s­ley and his team protested at Parker’s de­ci­sion but he clearly had no an­swer to Thomas’ pre­ci­sion and power.

The fi­nal fight of the night was a six-round shutout for an­other debu­tant in Bil­bor­ough su­per­wel­ter­weight Paul Thomp­son over Brain­tree’s Dy­lan Draper.

Thomp­son was fast out of the blocks and clearly a class above his op­po­nent, who de­spite his win­less record had been stopped only once in 17 out­ings.

De­spite sus­tain­ing a cut to his right eye dur­ing the fourth round Draper clung on till the fi­nal bell, giv­ing ref­eree Parker his eas­i­est job of the night with his 60-54 score­card.

THE VER­DICT An en­joy­able show in a packed, in­ti­mate venue.

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