BLACKPOOL boxer Matty Askin underlined the impression that he is a British champion in waiting as he took his winning record to 12 fights at Oldham Leisure Centre.
Askin produced a dominant performance to beat 40-year-old Roman Kracic, of the Czech Republic, stopping his rival with 49 seconds of the third round left.
The South Shore fighter was seldom, if ever, troubled by his durable rival, and although much tougher fights should come his way it was a useful notch to his belt.
Given that the domestic cruiserweight division is moribund, it comes as no surprise to hear Askin call for a fight with title holder Leon Williams.
Askin is still a comparative novice but surely it is a realistic ambition after this win.
Askin had troubled Kracic in the first with a couple of stinging shots to his fleshy midriff and it was a portent of things to come.
In the opening two sessions, Askin hit home with some hurtful combinations, but it was in the third that the 22-year-old showed what a clinical finisher he can be, mixing up his punches with devastating effect, power and precision.
First, he softened up Kracic with a punishing body-shot before getting inside his opponent’s guard with a tremendous right uppercut.
Askin then went in for the kill with a succession of clubbing rights.
Kracic complained one of them was a rabbit punch, but as he had turned his back on his opponent he could hardly moan.
With Kracic defenceless and trapped in his corner, it was up to Fleetwood referee Steve Gray to step in and rescue the Czech from further damage.
Askin had had a cold in the build-up but it had little, if any, material effect.
He looked to have been well schooled in the gym by trainer Bob Shannon, a hard man to please.
Askin said: “Everyone will have watched that and I wanted to show the rest of the cruiserweights what I am about.”
Of the uppercut that marked the beginning of the end for Kracic, Askin added: “I felt the power of it myself from my elbow to my shoulders.
“I am fit enough to go 12 rounds (against Williams) if I have to, and I have the best trainer around.”
Promoter Ricky Hatton said: “Matty is improving with every fight. We want to see a fight with Williams and that is the bout we should make.”
Hatton was in the corner as the first fighter under his training regime, Kirkham’s Adam Little, extended his own unbeaten record. Little won all four rounds against Billy Smith.
Little and his new trainer Hatton have got on famously and the outcome was never in doubt against Midlander Smith, who would give Gloria Gaynor a run for her money in the survival game.
Little was barely troubled and Hatton was pleased his charge followed instructions to the letter. It was welterweight Little’s fourth professional victory on the spin.
At the top of the bill, Denton Vassell made a successful second defence of his Commonwealth welterweight title with a unanimous points victory against Samuel Colomban
n Manny Pacquiao retained his WBO world welterweight title courtesy of a hotly-disputed points victory over his great rival Juan Manuel Marquez in Las Vegas.
n HEAVYWEIGHT Tyson Fury climbed off the canvas to stop Neven Pajkic in three rounds and retain his Commonwealth title in thrilling fashion.
n WELSH amateur Andrew Selby will compete for Britain at next summer’s Olympics after Khalid Yafai withdrew from their flyweight ‘box-off’.