Lee Purdy put up a brave performance against Italy's Leonard Bundu at the Excel Arena but it wasn't enough to topple the long standing European Champion. Purdy (10st 6lbs 5oz) was always going to meet fire with fire, but the veteran Bundu (10st 6lbs 1oz) was too fast and too strong for the Colchester man.
Purdy enjoyed periods of success and landed plenty downstairs but Bundu always replied in kind and landed the cleaner punches in two handed combinations. It seemed Purdy was hoping that his sustained body attacks would slow down the 39 year old Bundu in the latter stages, but it was the undefeated Italian that finished the stronger.
Purdy was always in the fight but never quite on top.
In the 12th round, Bundu removed any doubt when a big right hook followed by a left uppercut and straight right sent Purdy crashing to the canvas. Purdy beat the count but Bundu piled in with a succession of right hooks causing the referee to make a timely stoppage with just 8 seconds left.
Kevin Mitchell turns in a polished performance
Kevin Mitchell turned in a polished performance against late sub Karim El Ouazghari from Spain. El Ouazghari (9st 8lbs 7oz) was in good condition and fought with plenty of ambition so Mitchell had to be on his game.
Kevin (9st 8lbs 5oz) landed several stiff jabs which were sporadically followed up with left hooks. El Ouazghari marched forward swinging for the fences but Mitchell showed good upper body movement to evade the shots. Kevin remained cautious despite picking off his opponent almost at will but it was a sensible tactic to take his time and not take unecessary risks as he may have done in the past.
The fight continued in a similar vein with El Ouazghari stalking forward and getting picked off with jabs and counter left hooks from Mitchell.
Kevin closed the show in the 9th when a left uppercut and right hook stiffened the Spaniard. Karim started clutching his elbow indicating an injury as Mitchell landed another couple.
The fight was halted when both the referee and El Ouazghari's trainer jumped in between the two fighters.
It was a classy showing from Mitchell albeit against a limited opponent, so questions do remain: Will Mitchell continue to show this level of dedication in the gym? Will he remain as defensively slick against a higher calibre of opponent? Will he still retain the spiteful streak in the ring that made him so dangerous as a younger man while still boxing clever? Will his sisters Cheryl and Sarah manage to sit through a whole fight without consuming a small vineyard between them first? If the answer to these questions are all yes, then the Mitchell story has some interesting chapters still to come.
Earlier in the evening Martin Murray, Jamie McDonnell and Anthony Agogo all secured points victories.