Peter McGrail broke the spirit of Alexander Espinoza and forced a sixth-round stoppage with a masterclass display in front of his fans.
The majestic McGrail dropped the tough Nicaraguan with a peach of a backhand in round four at Probellum Liverpool II at the Eventim Olympia and continued to systematically dismantle his experienced rival.
McGrail, one of the stand-out world amateurs of his generation, was ready to dish out further punishment at the start of round six but Espinoza’s corner threw in the towel and retired their forlorn fighter.
A proud son of Liverpool, McGrail moves to 5-0 (4 KOS) as a pro having made the sternest test of his career appear impressively straightforward.
McGrail said: “This was my first time topping a bill and the crowd were unbelievable.
“I thought it was a good performance, it wasn’t 10 out of 10, but overall, I am happy. It was a step-up on paper so I’m happy to get him out of there, because he went 10 rounds with Kash Farooq last year.
“I am overwhelmed by the support and can’t wait for the next one already!”
Jazza Dickens won the vacant IBO world featherweight title after a hard fought 12 rounds with tough South African Lerato Dlamini.
Dickens has twice failed in his attempts to win world titles, but it was third time lucky for the popular 31-year-old, who was awarded the win on all three of the judges’ scorecards.
Roared on by huge support, Dickens was given the win 115-113, 115-113 and 116-112 by the officials and will now target the biggest fights in the division, against Leigh Wood and Josh Warrington.
An emotional Dickens said: “I have been working for this for 18 long hard years.
“But I did it with my fans, we did it together. Tonight, I am going to celebrate with everyone in Liverpool.”
Steven Cairns extended his perfect professional record by controlling his six-round fight with Angelo Turco.
Cairns, who won 60-53 on the scorecards, said: “The holding from Turco was a little bit frustrating but this is boxing and that is just another bit of experience.”
Joe McGrail came through the “toughest fight” of his fledgling career, as he survived a cut and a damaged hand to record a clear points win.
McGrail defeated Nicaraguan Alexander Taylor 59-55, with brother Peter watching on from ringside, to move to 6-0, but 19-year-old Joe said that didn’t tell the whole story.
He sustained a cut by the side of his left eye and hurt his hand, both in the second round.
McGrail said: “It was the toughest fight I’ve had so far as a pro.
“In the second round I got a cut after an accidental elbow and then, in the same round I’ve hurt my right hand. I didn’t throw it much after that, my coach told me to feint with it and throw it to the body, where it was soft.”
Frankie Stringer 40-36 Lee Hallett
Blane Hyland 60-54 Mikey Young
John Edwards 40-36 Simas Volosinas
Heather “The Heat” Hardy defeated Calista Silgado in the main event of a five-bout card stacked with local boxers on her much anticipated return to the boxing ring on Thursday, October 13, at Sony Hall, in the heart of Times Square, mid-town Manhattan.
Heather Hardy: “Silgado is a veteran who has fought everybody. I expected this kind of fight, and I prepared for it. I had a lot of rust to shake off.
“I’m going to take the weekend to unpack the emotions surrounding the fight. It was lot to digest, being my first one with a new team, my first one since turning 40 and my first one with no kid at home. I have decisions to make moving forward but they can wait until Monday.”
Heather Hardy (22-2, 4 KO’s), Brooklyn born and raised and former World Boxing Organization Featherweight Champion, will bring “The Heat” back after 17 months of inactivity as she mounts another run at a world championship. Hardy is currently ranked #12 in the lightweight division by the Women’s International Boxing Association. Heather is a graduate of John Jay College in Brooklyn, began boxing in the gym at age twenty-four and made her professional debut in 2014 at the tender age of twenty-eight. In 2013 she won the vacant UBF International super bantamweight title and in 2014 won the WBC International super bantamweight title, which she successfully defended five times. On October 27, 2018, Heather became world champion, winning the WBO featherweight title with a unanimous decision win over Shelly Vincent at Madison Square Garden. Heather lost the title the following September to Amanda Serrano in a clash of women boxing stars.
Calista Silgado (20-15, 15 KOs) from Santiago de Tolu, Colombia made her professional debut in 2012 and is a