Notable Ulster prospect Paul McCloskey proved recent high profile victories were no fluke as the Dungiven southpaw forced the retirement of Colin Lynes at the end of nine rounds to capture the vacant British Light Welterweight title last night at Goresbrook Leisure Centre in Dagenham, England.
Lynes had previously held the IBO, British and European crowns and had been originally set to face David Barnes but late replacement McCloskey proved to be more than up to the challenge of the biggest fight of his five year career.
In the early going, Lynes was effective behind the jab and it looked like the more experienced man would have his way until the Irishman began to time his English counterpart and suddenly Lynes was missing and getting hit in return at an alarming rate.
McCloskey's awkward, upper body movement based defense with hands around his waist proved insurmountable to Lynes and with each miss from the former champion, McCloskey would counter with short inside shots to both head and body.
As the body shots and missed punches began to take their toll, Lynes became tired and frustrated as the energized McCloskey began to add taunting to the punishing mix that he applied to the Londoner.
The eighth and ninth frames saw Lynes on the receiving end of numerous shots and the 31 year old East Ender chose not to come out for the tenth round.
McCloskey improves to 18-0 (8) while Lynes suffers his second consecutive defeat to fall to 31-5 (12).
On the undercard, former European, Commonwealth and British Super Bantamweight Champion Michael Hunter, 29-1-1 (12), won his third contest on the bounce following a failed bid at the IBF 122 pound title in 2006 by outpointing European Union and French Featherweight titlist Osman Aktas, 33-15-5 (6), in a non-title eight rounder by a score of 78-75.
Polish middleweight Grzegorz Proska, 16-0 (9), pounded out Welshman Taz Jones, 11-6-3 (4), in the fourth round of a scheduled six.