© Jane Warburton / Saddo Boxing
Saturday night at the Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, two British boxers fought on an historical boxing occasion due to the number of people that had packed in the venue.
Paul Butlin and Michael Sprott boxed on the undercard of the Wladimir Klitschko vs. Ruslan Chagaev world heavyweight title headliner in front of a massive crowd of 61,000.
Butlin of Melton Mowbray faced Johnathan Banks of Detroit in an eight round heavyweight contest.
The tattooed Butlin susses out his opponent in round one while popular Banks tries for a big shot. In the closing seconds of the first frame, a big right to the temple sees Butlin on the canvas. He takes the count and goes back to his corner.
Butlin has recovered well in the second and Banks looks for the big shot again, his left arm almost down by his side. Butlin keeps a high defence but Banks manages to score between the middle of the gloves. The Brit tries for a big swinging over-arm right which just misses its mark.
In round three, Butlin goes for big swinging rights and lefts but Banks is just out of reach. Banks continues to sneak through Butlin's guard as the fight progresses and Butlin looks for a big punch.
Round six is uneventful except for Butlin losing his gum-shield. In the seventh, Banks lands a big right to the side of Butlin's jaw and the Brit goes down. He takes the count but the referee does not let him continue with Banks winning by TKO, round seven.
Banks’ record now stands at 21 wins (15 by KO), 1 loss (1 by KO) and no draws.
Next up, Michael Sprott of Reading faced Russian-born Alexander Ustinov of Belarus in a 10 round heavyweight contest.
Towering over his shorter opponent, Ustinov tries for a wild swinging shot while Sprott keeps focussed, sussing out the Belorussian giant in the first round.
Sprott scores with a solid straight left to the nose of Ustinov in round two. He goes down to one knee in the third frame, which looked to be from a bundling over and the referee calls it off as a no-knockdown.
When they continue, Sprott whips out the left while Ustinov tries for an uppercut. At the end of the round, the Brit loses his gumshield and when fighting resumes Ustinov tries for another uppercut.
Sprott is still trying to land a big sweeping shot in the seventh and he’s under pressure in the closing half minute of round eight but continues to snap out the left.
The ninth sees the Reading man under pressure again mid-way through the round, but he lands a big right mid-way through the tenth and final frame. I’m sat in the lower tier at some distance from the ring but could clearly see the spray flying from the punch!
Right on the bell, Ustinov catches Sprott with a decent shot that sends the Brit stumbling backwards as the fight ends.
Ustinov wins the contest by unanimous points decision. His record now stands at 16 wins (13 by KO), no losses.