Ian Fletcher sent out a chilling reminder to any would be suitors for his Queensbury Boxing League Southern Area title.
The Hastings-based super middleweight destroyed title challenger Nigel James in the opening round of his latest appearance in the UK’s premier boxing league.
Making the first defence of his crown since winning the title back in September, the 26-year-old plasterer detonated a brutal combination of punches on the exposed chin of James that sent the challenger crashing to the canvas.
The result confirmed Fletcher’s standing as one of the most exciting super middleweights in the Queensbury Boxing League and set up a number of potential showdowns with the division’s elite 12 stone competitors later this year.
“There are a lot of good fighters in the league’s super middleweight division and after that performance I’m confident I can mix it with all of them,” said Fletcher.
“I tried not to do what I normally do and just steam in there, which is what Nigel probably expected me to do. I boxed on the back foot and wasn’t looking to finish it that quickly.
“But he was out on his feet when I hit him with those shots and I knew he wasn’t getting up after that so I’m happy with the performance and retaining my belt.”
Also in action on the undercard was St Leonards middleweight Mark Fisher, who claimed the vacant Queensbury novice middleweight title with a career best performance to outpoint Guildford’s fighting fireman Dave “Bad Boy” Bennett.
Fisher, who was returning to the league after an extended lay-off, said: “It wasn’t my best performance but I’m buzzing at winning the title and it’s a great feeling right now. I’m back on track now with my boxing and there is plenty more to come from me.”