Denny steals the show, Walker has cause for complaint.

Dave Woodhall reports from a night of boxing at Resorts World Arena.

There was a night of shock, controversy and glory on Saturday as the Matchroom promotion at the Resorts World Arena saw Rowley Regis middleweight Tyler Denny retain the European title with a technical decision after challenger Felix Cash was pulled out in the fifth round following an earlier clash of heads.

The previously-unbeaten Cash had been one of British boxing’s brightest prospects until a series of injuries derailed his career. The former British and Commonwealth champion has been restricted to just one fight in the previous eighteen months but seemed to be proving correct the pre-fight predictions that he would be able to shrug off any ring rust by taking a bright opening round. However, the fight turned when a head clash in round two left Cash bleeding from the right eye and from then on the Black Country fighter took control.

The third and fourth rounds saw Denny well in charge, with Cash looking off the pace and a big right hand towards the end of the fourth had the challenger rocking. It was increasingly looking like Denny’s night and a further clash of heads early in the fifth saw referee Mark Lyson asking a doctor’s opinion. Followed a brief examination the fight was called off after 50 seconds of the round and although it went to the cards Denny celebrated, aware of what everyone in the arena knew – a belief that was confirmed by the unanimous decision of the judges, with two scores of 49-47 and one 49-46.

Afterwards promoter Eddie Hearn was highly critical of Cash’s attitude during his lay-off while 32 year-old Denny, whose pro record is now 19-2-0, was unsurprisingly looking forward to a lucrative future. “I don’t want the British title,” he said. “I’m a prize fighter. I want the big money match.” One of the genuine nice guys of British boxing, Denny deserves every bit of good fortune that comes his way from now on.

One man left cursing the fates was Wolverhampton welterweight Conah Walker, who lost his WBA International belt to the unbeaten Belfast fighter Lewis Crocker in a thrilling contest that had the partisan crowd on their feet throughout. Crocker justified his status as favourite by settling the quickest and taking the first two rounds. As the fight progressed, though, Walker’s workrate seemed to be putting him ahead.

The later stages of this contest proved the most dramatic of the evening. The eighth round was a classic witb both men trying to deliver the decisive shot while round nine began with Walker deducted a point for a low blow after several warnings and ended with his opponent grimly holding on and relieved to hear the bell. The tenth began in the same way although Crocker recovered and the last few seconds saw both men, by now exhausted, trading punches while a crowd that had been noisy throughout roared their approval. They were less impressed by cards of 96-93 x2 and a slightly more believable 95-94, all for Crocker, who now moves to 20 (11)-0.

The third title bout of the evening saw a minor surprise when Commonwealth super-flyweight champion Emma Dolan became the first holder of the British title with a points victory over another previously-unbeaten fighter, Shannon Ryan. Dolan put her opponent down at the end of round two and was generally in charge throughout. Ryan rallied in the final round but seemed as though she hadn’t done enough although Dolan’s victory was a split decision, 96-93 and 96-94 for Dooan, now 7-0 while there was one 95-94 for Ryan.

German heavyweight Emmanuel Odiase, now fighting out of Wolverhanpton, had opened the show with a fourth round stoppage of Manchester’s Kevin Masirika. The unbeaten was always in control and notched up his third stoppage out of four wins after putting down Masirika in the last of the scheduled four rounds, referee Chris Dean calling off the bout after fifty seconds.

Frenchman Kelvin Madjid entered the ring to an upbeat intro against Leicester’s Muhammed Mustafa Ali, who had won all four of his previous bouts. The Leicester super bantam delighted his noisy following with a bright opening to their six rounder but Madjid hadn’t read the script and came back strongly in the middle of the fight to look like scoring what would have been a surprise win. Too much showboating in the final round cost him dearly, as proved by referee Dean’s eventual 57-57 card.

The only Birmingham fighter on the bill was lightweight Ibraheem Sulaimaan, who scored his fourth win, three inside the distance, with a second round stoppage of the Colombian Jesus Gonzalexz, in what was due to be the hometown man’s first six-rounder. The Colombian went down on the bell in the opening round and a wicked body shot saw him on the canvas again midway through the second. Up at six, Gonzalez seemed unwilling to argue when referee Kevin Parker called a halt after 1 minute 50 seconds. After the fight Suiaimann stated his ambition to become Birmingham’s first pay per view superstar and on this showing he may well be.

Walsall super-fly Hamza Uddin had his second pro fght against Spaniard Guilio Commerso and gained his second win. Always in control, Uddin took the six-rounder 60-53 with Commerso deducted a point in the fourth for holding.

Super-lightweight Cameron Vuong of Blyth had a lengthy journey for his first ten-rounder, stretching a 100% record to 5-0 (three inside the distance) with a close win over Tottenham’s veteran Jeff Ofori. The 21 year-old Vuong jabbed his way to victory against an opponent thirteen years his senior although he was never able to run away with the fight and in the end scorecards of 98-92 x2 and 99-91 seemed generous to the northern-easterner.