Joshua Buatsi delivers ruthless performance in first fight under Virgil Hunter

"I took him seriously. I landed the shot at the right time. Most importantly I hope he is OK."

Joshua Buatsi proved his class as he defeated Daniel Blenda Dos Santos inside four rounds in Manchester last night.

The 2016 Olympic-medalist extended his record to 14-0 and won his first fight under American trainer Virgil Hunter in style.

Buatsi was headlining the card after Terri Harper was forced to pull out from her unification bout against Hyun-Mi Choi because of a hand fracture.

The 28-year-old, returning for the first time since grinding out victory over Marko Calic, produced a vicious overhand right followed by another right hand to send Dos Santos to the canvas.

Once his previously unbeaten opponent had recovered from the devastating knockout, Buatsi consoled a teary-eyed Brazilian.

Joshua Buatsi consoles a distraught Daniel Blenda Dos Santos [Mark Robinson/Dave Thompson/Matchroom Boxing]
Joshua Buatsi consoles a distraught Daniel Blenda Dos Santos [Mark Robinson/Dave Thompson/Matchroom Boxing]

The British talent, who also floored Dos Santos in round two, retains his WBA international belt and in doing so moves closer to challenging for world honours at light heavyweight.

The current champions at 175 pounds are Dmitry Bivol [WBA], Artur Beterbiev [IBF and WBC] and Joe Smith Jr. [WBO].

"We've seen unknown opponents come and beat guys," said Buatsi after refusing to celebrate the victory.

"I took him seriously. I landed the shot at the right time. Most importantly I hope he is OK."

Doncaster delight in Manchester

Stefy Bull's Doncaster stable continued its success story as Jason Cunningham stunned Gamal Yafai to become European champion.

Cunningham - who previously tasted defeat to Kal Yafai in 2015, Gamal's elder brother - knocked down the Birmingham fighter on three occasions during a thrilling super bantamweight encounter.

The southpaw, who weathered a late storm by Yafai in the late rounds, had 10-8 rounds in the second, fourth and sixth which helped secure a unanimous decision win (115-110, 114-111, 114-111).

"Setback after setback, no big promoter behind me, I've done it the hard way," said Cunningham.

"I'm always written off, always. I had three weeks' notice. That's got to be my best performance."

Punch perfect performance by Richards

Lerrone Richards continued his impressive development with a slick victory over Giovanni De Carolis to win the vacant European super middleweight title.

The Dave Coldewell-fighter, who previously won the British and Commonwealth titles, extended his unblemished record to 15-0 and continues his climb up the world rankings.

"Sniper the Boss" sang a rendition of "Hot Cross Buns" after the fight, in dedication to his son.

Undercard results

Tommy McCarthy successfully defended his European cruiserweight title for the first time by stopping Alexandru Jur in the sixth round, twice flooring him with body shots.

'Mac Attack' is now set to face Bournemouth's Commonwealth champion Chris Billam-Smith at Matchroom's next Fight Camp instalment this summer.

"I'm delighted," McCarthy told Matchroom. "I got a few rounds in and a stoppage. I got everything that I wanted. We prepared for Jur to give me a good test.

"I don't think he expected me to come out the way that I did. It threw him off a bit. I can't complain.

"I thought it was all over after the first knockdown. Feinted to the head, left hook to the body and he went over. He went into survival mode after that.

"I've got no problem fighting Chris Billam-Smith, it's easy work. If this is the hurdle that I have to jump over for a world title fight, then so be it. Chris Billam-Smith, stop tweeting about me, stop talking about me - we'll see you at Fight Camp."

Dalton Smith claimed the vacant English super lightweight title by dominating Lee Appleyard and forcing a sixth-round stoppage.

The referee stepped in with Appleyard still on his feet when Smith's onslaught became too much, progressing the 24-year-old's record to 8-0 (7 KO's).

"I've got my first professional Title," said Smith. "I've dreamt about this since I was a little boy. I'm English champion. It's the starting block for me.

"When the fight first got announced, I thought, 'it's just an English title', but now I've got it it's like, 'wow, I'm a professional champion now'. It feels good."

Birmingham heavyweight Solomon Dacres won his first professional fight on points by battering Bulgaria's Mladen Manev for six rounds.

The former Team GB standout, who has shared sparring with the likes of unified heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua and European champion Joe Joyce, completely dominated Manev, earning a 60-54 decision from the referee.

"It was good to get six rounds under my belt," Dacres told Matchroom. "I know a lot of people like to get the big heavyweights that get them out of there in one round, but you don't learn much from that.

"I got to show my skills. I didn't just go for all power. I've got plenty more in the tank, so it was good to get the rounds in."

Solomon Dacres won on his debut fight as a professional [Dave Thompson Matchroom Boxing]
Solomon Dacres won on his debut fight as a professional [Dave Thompson Matchroom Boxing]

Leicestershire's Ellis Hopkins made a winning start to life in the professional ranks, comfortably outpointing Bulgaria's seasoned veteran Borislava 40-36 in the opening bout of the night.

Hopkins, 20, is the first female professional boxer from the traveller community and hopes to inspire a new generation of girls to follow in her footsteps.

"It was a good performance, I got going in the last two rounds," Hopkins told Matchroom.

"I'm just glad to get the first one out of the way, and on such a big platform. I couldn't be more thankful to Matchroom and MTK for giving me the opportunity.

"She was tough, you can tell she's experienced by the way she knew how to hold on every time I caught her.

"Becoming the first ever female from the travelling community to turn professional is a very big achievement and I hope I can inspire more young girls to do the same."

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