By Frank Warren

OUR MAGNIFICENT 7 series continued to deliver the goods in Birmingham on Saturday night in a big, big way.

A bumper – very near capacity – crowd at the excellent Resorts World Arena feasted on a sequence of seven top fights, with five of them having significant titles attached to them. I must pay tribute to the fans who turned out in force. Many of them may well have come in support of a particular fighter, but they stuck around and enjoyed a full night of boxing, making it such a special atmosphere.

Nathan Heaney’s people, for instance, knew he was on last and were still parked in their seats (with the occasional pitstop in the bar area) pretty much from fight one.

Having mentioned Nathan, we will start with him and his hugely exciting fight against the English middleweight champion Brad Pauls.

It was a cracker that, in my view sitting at ringside, I thought Nathan edged. At the same time – and strange as this may sound coming from me – it was one of those fights that neither man deserved to lose and there have been no howling protests over the outcome.

Even though Nathan has rightly received recognition as British champion, he is still a work in progress and he will tell you this himself. Just because you are north of 30 doesn’t mean you stop learning or pick up experience.

Nathan will have to recover from a tough and gruelling fight and then we will figure out what his best next move will be. We had a plan in place but in this tough old game you always have to be ready to change things up and adapt to circumstances.

Massive credit and congratulations go to Brad Pauls, who gave such a good account of himself and is a top fella. I am certain he will figure strongly in the middleweight mix from now on and reap the rewards for his years building himself up into contention.

Very much like Nathan and Brad, Liam Davies also served his time striving to make a name for himself away from the glare of the television cameras. And look at him now!

We handed Liam a promotional contract after he became English super bantamweight champion  and he had his first fight with us in mid-2021, which we staged on his home patch in Telford.

Eight fights later and he has won seven major title belts including the British, European and now IBO world championship, following his brutal dispatch of Erik Robles Ayala on Saturday.

Without blowing our own trumpet too loudly, there aren’t many promotional companies that give people chances when they are at English level and then back them to the hilt and build them in their home town.

I am honestly not attempting to write our own page on Liam’s success story because his triumphs are down to the fact that he readily takes proper fights that have pushed him a long way in a short space of time.

His last five fights have been against Marc Leach, Ionut Baluta, Jason Cunningham, Vincenzo La Femina (his European mandatory) and now Ayala for the IBO title. This is the Ayala who inflicted a first defeat on Lee McGregor the last time he was over here.

Liam has and does back himself against anyone and this self-belief has been key to his run of form that has now made him one of the most popular and watchable fighters in the business.

We got a bit of stick for taking shows to the Telford International Centre and for others at places like York Hall, but this is where the building works gets done and the foundations get put in.

Shows like Saturday totally populated by championship-level fights don’t happen without the four, six and eight rounders taking place, where the fighters gather experience and build a local following.

You only needed to witness the support Liam enjoyed in Birmingham to realise that this once quiet young man is now a big noise in his home region.

I think Liam is going to become an established world champion. The IBO title has given him a foot in the door because Naoya Inoue holds all the other belts. We will carry on building Liam up until such a time that he can fight for one of the belts or take on the great man himself.

Liam, true to form, wouldn’t even turn that one down.

Early knockdowns suffered by Eithan James and Brad Strand played a massive part in determining the final outcome of their title battles against Owen Cooper and Dennis McCann respectively.

Both were caught big and struggled thereafter, but both of them also toughed it out and took the fight late, in the case of Eithan, and to the final bell in Brad’s fight. They both showed massive heart and my confidence in them is not diminished in any way. Their time will come again.

Owen and Dennis showed huge promise and, again, they both had great backing inside the arena. Thanks to the knockdown and his smart approach, Dennis was always a step ahead in his British title fight, although Brad rallied a bit late on. Owen is a tough little customer who has definitely got something about him. He is an entertaining addition to the welterweight title picture.

Joe Joyce and Zach Parker laboured a bit in their fights – against Kash Ali and Tyron Zeuge – and were a bit sluggish, but both got the wins and now it is all about the next one.

Joe has always attracted criticism for not moving his head and getting hit too often and this fight was no different. He is not a concussive single shot merchant and he has to work for his wins.

He is back in the game now after the two defeats to Zhilei Zhang and he can start checking his mail again for an invitation to the heavyweight party.

A dangerous man looming on the super lightweight horizon is Pierce O’Leary, who made another impressive defence of his WBC International title against an unbeaten opponent in Hovhannes Martirosyan.

140lbs is a stacked division with major players both at home and abroad, so there are major possibilities moving forward for Pierce, who I believe is ready to fire now at 14-0. I would put him in against any of the British guys who hold titles and don’t seem keen on fighting each other. Come and fight the Big Bang.

Finally, a big well done to our light heavyweight Ezra Taylor, who bagged his first title belt in what was an entertaining four-round shootout against the Ghanaian Prince Oko Narty in the first fight of the night.

Ezra has got talent and plenty of showmanship, so I am sure his Commonwealth Silver belt will be his first of many.

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