By Elliot Foster
Dillian Whyte returned from a seven-month layoff through injury with a stoppage win.
The Brixton heavyweight, who is the co-challenger to the vacant British title along with Sam Sexton, returned with a sixth round stoppage at London’s O2 Arena.
Whyte (17-1, 14 KOs) ousted Ivica Bacurin with a hard right hand to the head in what was a workmanlike performance.
After getting back to winning ways as part of the undercard to former foe Anthony Joshua’s first defence of the IBF world heavyweight title against undefeated American Dominic Breazeale, ‘The Bodysnatcher’ will be back in the ring next month against an international opponent.
After the opener, in which Whyte found the range with an overhand right before the bell, Bacurin –– who was knocked out by Tony Bellew at cruiserweight last year –– was second best all the way through.
It was a two-shot combination, which involved an uppercut and a right hand, that caused the end of the fight.
The Croatian was benched and remained there, unable to beat the referee’s count.
Whyte will now return on July 30 at Leeds’ First Direct Arena.
Meanwhile, Conor Benn fought for the third time in the paid code and advanced his record with a stoppage.
Benn, who made his debut at the O2 Arena on April 9 and returned with a points win on May 28, appeared to have learned a lot from his last fight and appeared much more calm in front of the capacity crowd.
The 19-year-old, who now has two early endings to his name, outclassed limited import Lukas Radic from the beginning of the fight, landing at will and putting his opponent down twice before the referee, Bob Williams, dispensed of the second count after a hard right hand left the Czech face-down on the canvas and needing medical attention.
Radic, who is now 3-7-1 (3 KOs) as a pro, was back on his stool after receiving some oxygen, but the stoppage certainly bodes well for the future of the second generation.
And Felix Cash shone on his professional debut, flooring Yailton Neves en-route to securing a four-round decision.