ELLIS ZORRO RETAINED his WBO European cruiserweight title with a unanimous points victory over Luca D’Ortenzi at York Hall on Friday evening.

The 31-year-old moved to 17-0 in what was a first defence of his belt after a highly competitive affair that was far from one-way traffic.

Zorro started the fight very much on the front foot, pummelling his Italian opponent with effective work to the body, although D’Ortenzi did fire out the odd warning shot to keep Zorro in check.

Zorro appeared determined to dictate the tempo of the fight and stay in steady control, perhaps eager to avoid the traumatic elements of his last two fights against Dec Spelman and Hosea Burton.

D’Ortenzi went more on the offensive in the third and Zorro appeared to be troubled by his left eye at one point, which offered encouragement to the away fighter.

The Bromley-based man re-composed and upped the aggression levels in the fourth. In the subsequent rounds the fight was becoming more up close and personal, with footwork and distance less of a priority. Both men were enjoying success in the close encounters.

It was turning into an intriguing fight and the Roman was refusing to give any ground, with it becoming harder to establish a winner of the rounds.

Zorro, true to form, dug deep over the last couple of rounds and the fight was scored 97-93, 98-92 and 96-94 in his favour.

Karol Itauma continued to regain momentum with a hard-fought victory over Dmytro Fedas, a rough and rugged Ukrainian who stuck in there for the full eight rounds. Referee Mark Bates scored the fight 80-72 and Itauma moves to 11-1.

Masood Abdulah overwhelmed a shattered Marc Leach to win the Commonwealth Silver featherweight title in just his ninth fight as a pro. Typically, the tricky Leach made it hard work for the Islington man early on, although Abdulah was always the one with attacking intent. Leach was caught with big shots at the end of the sixth and, after a torrid seventh for the Salford man, his coach Nigel Travis retired him at the end of the round.

Josh Frankham edged the battle of the prospects against George Davey, with an enthralling fight being scored 76-75 on the card of referee Sean McAvoy. It was really bull vs matador stuff, with Frankham forcing the issue and Davey showing all the slick movement that is his trademark. Frankham found himself put to the canvas in the sixth, a round when the fight truly sparked into a gripping war. Frankham’s more aggressive and accurate work in the final round secured him the decision, although it was a tricky one to call.

Carl Fail didn’t have it all his own way as he entered double figures as a professional against the tough as old boots Bulgarian Angel Emilov. Although not at his slick and spiteful best, Fail took the win fairly comfortably 78-74 on the card of referee Mark Bates and soaked up the experience of going eight rounds for the first time.

Chris Bourke moved to 13-1 with a fourth round stoppage of Tanzanian Adam Mbega, who was 11-3-1 coming into the fight. The Streatham bantamweight dominated from the first bell and quickly got the measure of his opponent. Mbega began to unravel in the fourth and it took a right and left to the body to plant him to the canvas and his corner waved the towel, with just two seconds left of the round. Sean McAvoy officiated.

In the opener for the evening, Luton middleweight Sam King made a successful debut, outpointing Dwain Grant over four rounds. King scored two knockdowns in the first round resulting in a score of 40-34 to the Peacock Gym prospect.

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