Leeds-based super-welterweight Ishmael Davis claimed victory in his English super-welterweight title eliminator against Ewan McKenzie, securing victory courtesy of an eighth-round stoppage at the Utilita Arena, Newcastle.
Davis-McKenzie opened the DAZN broadcast promoted by Matchroom Boxing, which Shabaz Masoud and Jose Sanmartin headline.
Davis (10-0, 5KOs) started the opening round confidently with two opening jabs within the opening seconds and settled in behind the jab. Davis was able to cause damage to McKenzie's nose (8-0, 3KOs) courtesy of another trio of jabs, which was followed up by an uppercut in the battle of the switch-hitters.
McKenzie would try to establish his jab from the start of the second round; however had little effect on Davis as he was happy to keep marching forward due to his evident physical size advantage. Davis was able to land a left hook on McKenize, which sent the northeast native onto the ropes. McKenzie finished the round strongly with several clean blows to the head, following another period of Davis closing down McKenize while firing to the body.
Davis landed the shot of the round early in three with a long left hook, which snapped McKenzie's head back, but McKenzie was able to fight fire with a short flurry of punches. However, when Davis lands even at this point in the contest, the contrast in power was evident.
The fourth was a competitive affair, with both fighters exchanging moments of attack till Davis was able to press on the accelerator with a period of pressure fought at close quarters, landing body shots.
Davis commenced round five with another barrage to the body, which, after an exchange of, body shots, saw a huge right hand from Davis was followed by an unanswered onslaught from Davis, which was only stopped by the referee to call for a foul against Davis. McKenzie would launch his attack, with Davis seemingly expanding too much in his attack earlier in the round. Davis would recover, see through the round, and respond to McKenzie's attacks.
Six saw McKenzie trap Davis in the his corner and land an unanswered three-shot combination. McKenzie would expend a lot of energy, which saw Davis regain composure and land the more telling punches compared to McKenzie, whose work rate had dropped from the start of the round.
The seventh was a more tame affair in terms of output and pace of the contest in what had passed, allowing Davies to regain the momentum of the fight and was able to catch McKenzie, who was trying to close the gap with several jabs and right hands throughout the round.
Davis would secure victory in the eighth following an unanswered barrage of shots against the bloodied McKenzie, whose face had deteriorated from the opening round. Davies, landing completely unopposed, saw the corner of McKenzie withdraw their fighter after 2:44 of the round.