Florian Marku produced a superb fourth-round stoppage of Chris Jenkins to retain the IBF international welterweight title and immediately demanded, “Give me Amir Khan!”
The Albanian, roared by broad and boisterous Newcastle support on the undercard of Savannah Marshall’s world title defense against Femke Hermans, was pushed by former British champion Jenkins in the early rounds.
But a huge right hook from Marku to the head of Jenkins in the fourth set sparked a devastating streak of punches that led to referee Steve Gray leaving the contest and watching the former mixed martial arts fighter pass. to a record 11 (7) -0 -1.
British fighter Chris Kongo, mentioned as a potential next opponent, was among those watching at ringside, but Marku immediately turned his attention to some of the biggest names in the division, including former world champion Khan.
“Please don’t mention those kind of names because when I was on my way up those people were avoiding me,” Marku said of the prospect of facing Kongo next.
“Now I’m making a lot of noise, a lot of good wins, everyone’s starting to call me. Listen, I want Nigel Benn’s son [Conor Benn]Kell Brook, Amir Khan – give me these type of men and you will see how I fight with them.
“Don’t mention anyone else, give me one and you’ll see what I can do.
“I’m still learning, remember I’ve only been in the boxing game for three years and Chris won the British title and a lot of people are avoiding him. But listen, then give me Amir Khan – I will break it.”
Welshman Jenkins (28(8)-5-3) got off to a good start, landing some early punches and keeping Marku on his toes with a nice variety of punches.
An accidental clash of headers in the third left Marku with a cut above his left eye and it led to him pushing the pace in the fourth which ultimately resulted in a devastating knockout with Jenkins unable to respond to a barrage of punches.
“I started rushing because I felt the cut might be too big and I was afraid the ref would stop me,” Marku said. “That’s why I started picking up the pace.
“Today I showed something that we learned. I didn’t show a lot of it, but nobody stops it like that in four rounds – show me, who, ever?
“Chris Jenkins, I have respect for him – congratulations. He accepted the fight with me, I wanted to show the British fans that I did not come by chance where I am today. I give my heart when I go in the ring. Today I passed the boxer.”
Elsewhere on the map, Zak Chelli (11(6)-1-1) produced a stunning sixth-round stoppage victory over a late replacement opponent Zak Kilgannon (11(3)-1) in a super middleweight matchup.
Chelli, who was cut earlier in the round by an accidental clash of headers, caught Kilgannon with a huge overhand right and followed that up with a two-punch combination to send him to the canvas, inflicting a first pro loss on the 26 year old player. old.