Bellew sees off spirited Brudov
Tony Bellew won the vacant WBO international title on his cruiserweight debut against Valery Brudov in front of his home crowd at the Echo Arena in Liverpool.
Bellew, buzzing off the reception from his home crowd, was straight out the blocks with some impressive left jabs in the first and then had Brudov flat on his back early in round two.
The Russian, who has only fought twice in the past two years, did well to get up and to his credit showed some ambition in the third with some decent hooks.
Bellew tagged Brudov to have his opponent on the canvas again in the sixth, but the fight changed complexion in the seventh when a careless couple of minutes saw Bellew rocked. He managed to hold on, before Brudov allowed him some breathing time with a low blow.
The pair traded some decent punches and the fight looked like it could go either way until the 12th when Brudov overreached for a left-hand and Bellew caught him with a brilliant jab that finally saw off his opponent.
"When he went down for the second time I thought it was goodnight," Bellew told Sky Sports. "But he got up and and I thought 'Welcome to the cruiserweight division.'
"He's above domestic level and I don't see the point - I've done that and I'm not looking to do that, no disrespect to those lads."
Kell Brook beat Alvaro Robles - his 32nd win in a row, extending the longest unbeaten run in British boxing - and remains on course for a world title shot.
Brook, a mandatory challenger for the IBF welterweight title, needed eight rounds of a scheduled 10 to dispose of his Mexican opponent.
Robles was docked a point for numerous low-blow offences early on, but Brook shifted through the gears in the seventh with a series of accurate punches in swift succession.
The referee allowed it to continue and the eighth round continued to be a one-sided affair before Robles' corner threw in the towel.
"It's getting hard to get up for these kind of kids now," Brook said. "I've moved on. It's hard to get up at 5 and 6am each morning to drive and train.
"I'm only after those elite fighters now. I'm happy I got this out of the way and the next one is for the IBF strap.
"Whoever has got that belt, I want them. We know the crack and we know what's happening. I've got to get my nut down and train for that fight."
Rocky Fielding was also victorious, seeing off Charles Adamu by unanimous decision 120-108, 120-108, 120-108.
"He's a tough guy," Fielding said. "He's been 12 rounds with Carl Froch and I knew he'd be there at me for the 12. I was happy that I got the rounds."
Earlier in the night, Kevin Mitchell overwhelmed 22-year-old opponent Mikheil Avakyan.
The Londoner dropped Avakyan twice in the first round - and when the young Georgian hit the canvas again early in the second, referee Steve Gray had seen enough.
Neil Perkins saw off Erick Ochieng on points, 78-76.