Dillian Whyte stopped fellow Brixton boxer Ian Lewison in the 10th round on Friday night to lift the vacant British heavyweight title at the SSE Hydro arena in Glasgow.
It was Lewison, however, who started the stronger, looking to land a series of swingeing rights in the first round, while Whyte, the more technically proficient fighter, tried to keep his opponent at bay with his jab.
From the second round Whyte took control, utilising his superior technique and conditioning to outthink and outbox his opponent.
Prior to the fight Whyte had said it would be a battle for ‘bragging rights’ between the two former sparring partners who have both trained at Miguel’s Gym, and there seemed to be genuine animosity between them at a spiky press conference last week.
Having shown promise as an amateur, 35-year-old Lewison has had only 16 professional bouts. An unorthodox career path has seen him fight most recently in China where the Dulwich-born man won the WBO Asia Pacific Heavyweight title.
Although ranked number four in the world at one stage, Lewison’s commitment to the sport has been wavering, a fact exemplified by a distinct lack of conditioning on Friday night.
The extra weight was ultimately complicit in his downfall with Lewison tiring as the rounds rolled on – a lack of fitness and the energy expelled from a series of unwieldy haymakers compounded by punishing bodyshots from Whyte.
By then end of the 10th round there was little fight left in Lewison. His corner stepped in to end the fight, their man clearly exhausted and with a badly broken nose and severe swelling around the eyes.
While it is difficult to see where Lewison goes from here, Whyte’s future looks bright. Having provided Anthony Joshua with his sternest test to date, ‘The Body Snatcher’ is likely to fight Dereck Chisora in December and has aspirations of a re-match with Joshua.
“I thought to myself there’s no way I’m losing out here today,” said Whyte after the fight. “I know Ian and I know he’s tough. This was more than a South London Derby. I needed to win this belt for my career and hopefully move onto a world title next year. ”