One of the best fights to grace an English ring took place tonight at Kingsway Leisure Centre in Widnes as British lightweight champion John Murray captured the vacant European crown against big-hearted but outgunned opponent Gary Buckland.
The pair set a fast pace from the off as 23 year old Welshman Buckland surprisingly took the fight to his Manchester rival Murray, 25, who countered well.
Murray's advantage in ability and handspeed won him the early frames but the will of Buckland saw him set the pace during the middle rounds but the Cardiff man's lack of real punching power was a genuine disadvantage.
Unable to hurt Murray, Buckland began to tire and take on significant punishment as the Mancunian upped the ante to land hurtful punches.
But Buckland refused to back down and continued to try and battle back, however the bout was called off at 1:46 of the 11th stanza with Murray awarded the stoppage victory and the European title.
Murray stays undefeated at 29-0 (17) while Buckland, 18-2 (6), is in the loss column for just the second time of his career.
Former Commonwealth welter king John O'Donnell, 23-1 (11), appeared in an eight rounder at just a pound and a half above the light welter limit to stop Hungarian import Lazlo Robert Balogh, 7-2-1 (3).
Promising light middle Prince Arron, 18-3-1 (1), outpointed durable veteran Max Maxwell, 11-9-2 (2), by a score of 77-74 over eight rounds.