Craig Cunningham caused a huge upset by stopping Anthony Ogogo in Birmingham
By Matt Horan
Last Updated: 23/10/16 12:26am
Craig Cunningham caused a huge upset as he stopped Anthony Ogogo to win the WBC International middleweight title in Birmingham.
The 2012 Olympic bronze medallist was retired by his corner in the eighth round as the home favourite, Cunningham, secured the vacant strap.
Cunningham had Ogogo down in the second round after a right hook sent the Suffolk star to the canvas after a succession of punches wobbled the legs of his famed opponent.
This was the first notable step up for Ogogo, who had never been past six rounds before, and it eventually proved a step too far for the previously unbeaten star.
Cunningham started the fight well, quickly finding his rhythm, and soon found his target regularly as Ogogo struggled with his range and timing from the off.
The march forward continued in the second and Ogogo was stunned as straight lefts continued to land on the Olympic star. His legs were wobbled and a right hook sent Ogogo sprawling across the canvas.
The Birmingham favourite remained composed and the straight left and right hands kept landing flush as Ogogo's defence became regularly breached.
The Suffolk star started to cut a very frustrated figure as the contest entered the fourth round and despite a flurry of hooks at the start of the round, he forced his shots out as a shock result started to seem very realistic.
Round five suggested that the tide may be turning as Ogogo, the busier fighter, had more success, although his work remained messy and he frequently missed the target.
Cunningham quickly got back on the front foot though, and landed some flush combinations as he moved in and out and outmaneuvered Ogogo, landing a spiteful combination as Ogogo bizarrely dropped his hands.
The rhythm and timing was all with the local man as a succession of straight one-two shots rattled the head of Ogogo.
The end came in the eighth round, with Ogogo's trainer Tony Sims pulling his charge out of the fight.
A delighted Cunningham spoke to Sky Sports after the fight saying: "I love being the underdog, nothing fazes me.
"I had to check how quick he actually was. I fancied myself as a counter-puncher. My knockout record isn't great but if I catch someone, they're going to go.
"You can't teach heart, can you?"
Elsewhere on the card, Sean Davis claimed the WBC International super-bantamweight title by outpointing Welshman Paul Economides, while Brian Rose made a successful return to the ring as he outpointed Stilyan Kostov.
Local favourite and former Commonwealth champion Don Broadhurst defeated Louis Norman via a split decision to secure the English super-flyweight belt, while Lennox Clarke, Cori Gibbs, Ryan Kelly, Joe Sherriff and Sam Bowen all won their bouts and remain undefeated.