Hamzah Sheeraz was losing his fight with Bradley Skeete until he hit his opponent while he was grounded – and the fight swung in the unbeaten man’s direction
Rising boxing star Hamzah Sheeraz was fortunate to escape disqualification for punching opponent Bradley Skeete while was on the canvas.
Sheeraz, 22, was struggling against veteran Skeete and looked set to drop a points decision.
But he appeared to have turned the tide in the eighth round when he dropped Skeete in the corner of the ring.
Sheeraz then landed two further blows while his 34-year-old opponent was on his knee.
Referee Steve Gray opted to deduct a point but Skeete failed to recover fully and was dropped at the end of the session.
And he then took a knee in the ninth round before the fight was waved off.
Action Images via Reuters)
Sheeraz was fighting for the 14th time as a professional having stopped nine of his previous opponents.
Skeete on the other hand had fought for less than 10 minutes in the last three years.
His career hit the skids in 2018 when he was stopped by hard-hitting Kerman Lejarraga before the Londoner suffered another stoppage defeat by Diego Ramirez.
But he rolled back the clock against Sheeraz as the rookie struggled to deal with the older man’s slick style.
Skeete had built a sizeable lead by the time the fight exploded into controversy in the eighth round.
But he was unable to continue in the penultimate stanza as he suffered his fourth career defeat.
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Sheeraz and Skeete clashed on the undercard of Anthony Yarde’s rematch with Lyndon Arthur.
Arthur shocked the Londoner last year with a points win and the light-heavyweights met again 12 months on with the promise of a world title for the winner.
And it was Yarde who settled his domestic rivalry with a fourth-round stoppage.
The former world title challenger started on the front foot and refused to relent before dropping his opponent in the fourth round.
Arthur rose to his feet but the referee waved the fight off.