It was another busy weekend of action across the globe as Bernard Hopkins showed why age is no barrier to success, Darren Barker cruised to another victory and Matchroom announced another big name signing.
Starting with events at Wembley Arena on Saturday night there was another positive display from Barker who won the IBF Intercontinental title after Simone Rotolo was forced to retire at the end of the fourth with a hand injury.
Barker had been in control and had floored his Italian opponent in the opening round as he looked for another early stoppage. Despite being a touch wild, the former world title challenger showed why he is considered one of the best middleweights in Britain with a range of classy shots and slick offensive skills.
There is now a chance that he will have another crack at a world title, though the Barnet boxer admits that he is also interested in meeting one of his domestic rivals in Matthew Macklin, Martin Murray or Andy Lee.
"I want to fight these world class fighters, whether they're the world champions or the domestic guys," said Barker. "It's exciting times as there are big fights out there for me and I'll get back in the gym in a couple of weeks and Tony Sims and Eddie Hearn will sit down and sort that out for me.
"I'm game and I'll fight anyone, I proved that when I went to America and fought Sergio Martinez and I'm ready for a big fight now.
"I haven't fought twice in three months since I started, but I feel so good right now, I was so sharp in the gym and training has been going well. I'm buzzing, I feel like a young man again and I don't want to be out of the gym."
On the undercard there was a straight forward win for George Groves in his first outing for Matchroom after leaving Frank Warren just over one week ago.
The Saint stopped Dario Balmaeda in the third round and can now look forward to a much tougher challenge on the Carl Froch vs Mikkel Kessler undercard in May.
Lee Purdy also had a comfortable victory, while Danny Cassius won a points decision over Chris Evangelou, John Ryder compfrtably outpointed Farai Musiyiwa, Wadi Camacho retired at the end of the seventh round against China Clark, Erick Ochieng defeated Frederic Serre on a close points decision and Liam Shinkwin inflicted a first loss on Ryan Taylor.
Hopkins defies age to make history
Over in America Bernand Hopkins proved that age holds no barrier as he outpointed Tavoris Cloud to win the IBF light-heavyweight title and break his own record to become the oldest world champion at 48.
Hopkins won a unanimous decision and was rarely troubled by Cloud, 17 years his junior, who did suffer a nasty cut above his right eye in the sixth round after an accidental clash of heads.
The result may have repercussions for Britain's own world champion Nathan Cleverly who is now keen to secure a bout with Hopkins. The Welsh fighter must first defeat Robin Krasniqi on April 20 but he believes a unification bout with the American is now a certainty.
"A potential fight between myself and Hopkins is inevitable now," said Cleverly. "I think we'll definitely get that fight on and I believe it will be after my next fight. Provided I get rid of this Krasniqi now... then I'm convinced that the Hopkins fight will be after that."
Matchroom deliver another big name signing
Another Monday morning and another big announcement from Eddie Hearn who presented Ricky Burns as the latest addition to his increasingly impressive stable of fighters. The Scot will be in action on May 11 in Scotland, with a venue and fighter to be announced at a later date, and is hoping to get his career back on track after a frustrating half a year.
"The last six months have been a nightmare," said Burns. "I need stability in my career and that's what I'm getting now. I've got no problems with Frank, I just decided it was best to try and get out of the contract as a few issues had not been resolved."
Hearn also made it clear that Burns would be headlining a show in Scotland in September and intimated that they may attempt to secure a unification bout with undefeated American Adrien Broner.
"Ricky will be fighting in Scotland on May 11, where he has a huge following. He wants the Adrien Broner fight and that's something we can build towards. but for now we want to focus on building him in Scotland.
"Ricky's contract with Frank Warren was terminated last week. If Mr Warren believes otherwise, no doubt that will be contested in a court of law.
"Ricky wants the big fights and he'll be out again in Scotland in September after fighting in May. If we build him right, I'm sure we can get Broner to Scotland. I'm really excited and glad to be thinking about boxing again. That's my job and that's what I want to do."