Doncaster boxer Jason Cunningham lands Commonwealth title

Jason Cunningham on his way to victory over Nasibu Ramadhani. Photo: Dean Atkins
Jason Cunningham on his way to victory over Nasibu Ramadhani. Photo: Dean Atkins

Good things come to those who wait.

And the good thing that has finally come to Jason Cunningham is the Commonwealth bantamweight title.

A surprise defeat to Ross Burkinshaw denied the Doncaster fighter on his first attempt at the crown.

And his second shot was pushed back after his scheduled opponent withdrew through illness.

But there was to be no denying him on Friday, even if he had to wait late into the night at iceSheffield.

Game opponent Nasibu Ramadhani retired on his stool before the start of the tenth round, struggling considerably with a shoulder injury.

The nine rounds that had preceded the early finish were enthralling yet ultimately awkward as two southpaws met.

Cunningham looked to use his height advantage by working off the jab but he largely struggled to take control.

Tanzanian fighter Ramadhani was quick and bobbed and weaved in defence, making him incredibly difficult to hit.

While he rarely dominated, Cunningham enjoyed the better of the fight while it lasted. When he caught Ramadhani, the shots were meaningful, particularly the left hook which was a potent weapon.

He was open to a swinging left hand himself however, and Ramadhani landed enough to disrupt Cunningham’s flow and ensure the contest was not one-sided.

It was somewhat surprising when Ramadhani’s corner waved off the fight as there was little sign of injury.

But it was certainly clear as he attempted to remove his glove that he was considerable discomfort while Cunningham celebrated the biggest win of his pro career.

Rotherham’s Atif Shafiq returned to winning ways after edging a competitive lightweight clash with Lee Connelly of Killamarsh.

Connelly refused to budge despite taking plenty of clean shots, particularly left hooks which Shafiq landed with regularity.

Shafiq always had the edge and perhaps could have expected a slightly wider margin that the 39-38 decision he received.

But it nevertheless saw him return to winning ways after a surprise first career defeat last time out.

Rotherham heavyweight Kash Ali was given a tough time by Kamil Sokolowski but escaped with a 39-38 points win.

Ali was extremely effective with the overhand right in the first round but it evaded him in the middle rounds as Sokolowski started to have more of a say.

Though he looked to be flagging physically, Ali enjoyed a resurgence in the final round, again finding the overhand right to make sure of the win.

Bolsover’s well-backed ‘Ginger Rocket’ Jamie Robinson secured a 39-37 points victory over the durable Jack McCormack.

Robinson was never allowed to fully find his flow but impressed in flurries with some fine combinations to ensure he always had the edge.