Wigan’s James Moorcroft recorded his first stoppage victory in over 12 months at the University of Bolton Stadium on Saturday.
Moorcroft, who turned 26 the following day, received the ultimate birthday present when he claimed an impressive win against Kettering’s Simon Henry.
The Hindley-ace gave an exceptional performance in his 6x3 welterweight bout and was certainly good value for his victory.
Moorcroft immediately set the tone and could have almost ended the tie there and then after his explosive start in the first-round left Henry startled.
He continued his high intensity from the opening round into the next two and found plenty of joy with backhand shots over Henry’s jabs.
After causing his opponent to stumble several times, Moorcroft finally knocked Henry to the ground in the fourth round after he landed a wicked right hand.
Henry was able to briefly continue but the referee Steve Gray stopped the contest two minutes and 55 seconds into the round after he believed that the 35-year-old could no longer defend himself against Moorcroft’s advances.
It was the Wiganer’s first stoppage since he defeated Hyde’s Dale Arrowsmith at Robin Park Arena in October 2017.
Moorcroft was overcome with emotion after he extended his professional record to 10-0.
He said: “It was amazing- I’m absolutely speechless after that- I’m so proud of the team and everyone at Blundell’s Boxing Gym. Henry was a great opponent for me and did himself and his coaches’ credit.
“It’s an absolute dream come true to have now reached double figures for my career, and I’m hoping that we can keep building on that undefeated record. The future is looking bright, and I cannot wait for my next fight already whenever that may be over the coming months.
“There’s no better team in the sport than Blundell’s Boxing, and I feel honoured to be surrounded by such amazing and supportive people in the gym, and also my friends and family who act as my rock, and always come and watch my fights wherever I go. I’ll always be forever grateful for the support, and I don’t think anyone will ever understand how much it really means to me because the feeling cannot be described. Everyone is truly amazing, and I love them all to pieces.
“I would just like to take the time to thank everyone who came to the fight and to everyone who watched the live stream. Yet again, my supporters were out there in numbers and created a fantastic atmosphere to help drive me on. It's truly amazing and makes me feel so proud to be a part of Wigan. I'm just so glad to get the fourth-round stoppage and put a good show on for everyone.
“I’m excited to see what the future holds now and as a little town- Wigan- we will do this together.”
Meanwhile, coach Lee Blundell was more than happy with his rising star’s performance.
“It was the fight of the night,” he said.
“He boxed the best there, and I’m absolutely over the moon with that performance. He listened to our game-plans and got his rewards. We’re all delighted with it.
“He had a point to prove after he felt he didn’t box as well as he could last time and worked even harder this camp to get everything perfect. Against a lad we didn’t know a lot about, we knew that Henry would be decent as came from good gym but James executed the plan perfect and the step up in opposition only brought the best out in James.”
Moorcroft dedicated his win to his cousin Tarek Badran who passed away at the end of last month.
Moorcroft also thanked the following sponsors: Advanced Fencing and Gates Ltd, Mullins Associates, Acorn Environment Services, North West Aesthetics, Big Dog Bullys, Maidens Butchers Hindley, J R Plastering (Uk) Ltd, Doing Bits Street Food and Desserts, WL Building Developments, Just Tarmac Ltd and MPS Print Solutions UK.