On this day in 2015, Newcastle welcomed Anthony Joshua, as he continued his meteoric rise through the heavyweight division as he dispatched the American Jason Gavern in 3 rounds, seating him twice on the way to victory.
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This extended AJ’s undefeated to 11-0 with a 100% knockout record, before going on to win his first world title just four fights later. 7 years on, Joshua holds a record 24-2 with 22 knockouts, losing his unified world champ status in his last fight to Oleksandr Usyk.
Respect to Gavern.. Thank you Newcastle for the warm welcome!! The Journey Continues… ???????????? pic.twitter.com/4FSl05ji7s
— Anthony Joshua (@anthonyjoshua) April 4, 2015
Right at the other end of the card, Lewis Ritson made his first impression on the Newcastle faithful as he outpointed the veteran Kristian Laight over four rounds. Little did Matchroom know what they had on their hands, as he returned to the Utilita Arena (then known as the Metro Radio Arena) in 2018 as British champion, and won the belt outright, stopping Paul Hyland Jr in a round infront of a raucous home crowd. Ritson has put Newcastle fight nights on the map, as he now regularly headlines in the North.
Bradley Saunders vs Dave Ryan was supposed to be on the card but Saunders withdrew through injury, meaning Anthony Nelson’s triumph over Jamie Wilson for the Commonwealth Super Fly title featured high up the card.
Stephen Simmons was shocked by Jon Lewis Dickinson, who handed Simmons his first defeat. That wasn’t the only upset on the bill as Travis Dickinson was stopped in a round by Mustafa Chadlioui.
Simon Vallily extended his undefeated record, outpointing Wladimir Metr. Hosea Burton added a KO victory to his record stopping Joe Hillerby.
Stephen Smith continued to climb the super lightweight ranks outpointing Barrington Brown over six.
Jordan King produced a big first round knockout over Iain Jackson and Jeff Saunders kicked off his pro career also with a first round knockout over Sandor Racz.
Finally, Scottish Commonwealth gold medallist Charlie Flyn outpointed Andy Harris to extend his record to 1-0.