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Contenders 23 report: Scott Butters, Luke Shanks and Javid Basharat thrill with first round finishes

PUBLISHED: 12:45 29 April 2018 | UPDATED: 16:56 30 April 2018

Scott Butters sinks in the fight-ending choke against Jonathan Templier at Contenders 23. Picture: BRETT KING

Scott Butters sinks in the fight-ending choke against Jonathan Templier at Contenders 23. Picture: BRETT KING

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Local star-in-the-making Scott Butters capped a wild night of finishes with a nasty first round guillotine choke win in front of a raucous, packed crowd at Contenders 23 last night.

Scott Butters, left, just misses with a big left hook in his win over Jonathan Templier in the main event at Contenders 23. Picture: BRETT KINGScott Butters, left, just misses with a big left hook in his win over Jonathan Templier in the main event at Contenders 23. Picture: BRETT KING

The Dereham lightweight moved to 2-0 as a professional with victory over tough Frenchman Jonathan Templier in the main event of a night which saw nine finishes from 11 fights at the Epic Studios in Norwich.

Having absorbed some thudding leg kicks, Butters jumped straight on his trademark choke when Templier shot for a takedown.

Scott Butters celebrates his win in the main event of Contenders 23. Butters is now 2-0 as a pro lightweight. Picture: BRETT KINGScott Butters celebrates his win in the main event of Contenders 23. Butters is now 2-0 as a pro lightweight. Picture: BRETT KING

He said afterwards that he knew straight away the choke was locked in, and it seems Templier did too, as he tapped out in a matter of seconds, sending Butters leaping atop the cage to celebrate in front of his jubilant fans.

Butters, who has won both of his pro fights in the first round, will surely now be attracting interest from European and international promotions.

But his choke, as impressive as it was, wasn’t the stand-out submission of the night. That honour went to flyweight Luke Shanks in the co-main event, as he finished Greece’s Apostolos Gerapoulos in the very first stanza.

Shanks, nicknamed ‘The Apocalypse’, certainly lived up to that billing as he enveloped his foe in a destructive choke which, though he fought valiantly to escape from – thrashing like a fish on a hook – he was eventually forced to tap from the final standing guillotine position.

Luke Shanks, left, locks on the fight-ending guillotine choke at Contenders 23. Picture: BRETT KINGLuke Shanks, left, locks on the fight-ending guillotine choke at Contenders 23. Picture: BRETT KING

Shanks moves to 3-0 as a pro, with all three wins coming via submission.

There was a submission too as Javid Basharat won the Contenders bantamweight belt with a first round rear naked choke triumph over France’s Julien Bouteix.

Luke Shanks improved to 3-0 as a pro, with all his wins by submission, after his first round win at Contenders 23. Picture: BRETT KINGLuke Shanks improved to 3-0 as a pro, with all his wins by submission, after his first round win at Contenders 23. Picture: BRETT KING

Basharat, now 5-0 with five stoppages, looks to be a can’t miss superstar of the future, boasting dynamic, dangerous striking and equally potent ground skills.

Elsewhere, Stevi-Ann Levy led a perfect night for the King’s Lynn-based Heros Gym stable of boxers, defending her 61kg title with ease in a first round blow-out of the outclassed Emma Taylor.

Javid Basharat moved to 5-0 as a pro and picked up the Contenders bantamweight belt with a first round submission at Contenders 23. Picture: BRETT KINGJavid Basharat moved to 5-0 as a pro and picked up the Contenders bantamweight belt with a first round submission at Contenders 23. Picture: BRETT KING

Stablemate Andris Kazoks lifted the 75kg title with a points win over Pawel Lukazczyk, while George Jubby took KO of the night honours by stopping Marcus Stephenson with wicked body shots.

Irvidas Juskys made it four wins from four for Heros with a dominant first round destruction of foe Dan Taylor which was apt for his ‘Punisher’ moniker.

Stevi-Ann Levy, right, dominated Emma Taylor en route to a first round stoppage win and third defence of her Contenders 61kg boxing belt at Contenders 23. Picture: BRETT KINGStevi-Ann Levy, right, dominated Emma Taylor en route to a first round stoppage win and third defence of her Contenders 61kg boxing belt at Contenders 23. Picture: BRETT KING

In the other title fight on the card, Maris Karis overwhelmed Steve Cronk in the first round to lift the Contenders 65kg boxing title.

Fight of the night honours went to the first fight on the main card, an absorbing featherweight scrap between Yohan Salvador and Ryan Dennis.

Dennis, making his pro debut, saw his hand raised via unanimous decision, using a smothering top game to grind out a compelling victory.

Contenders 23 results

- Carl Marsh beat Charlie Milner by second round KO (K1)

- Irvidas Juskys beat Dan Taylor by first round KO (boxing)

- George Jubby beat Marcus Stephenson by third round KO (boxing)

- Maris Karis beat Steve Cronk by first round TKO (wins 65kg boxing title)

- Josh Leet beat Jonas Povilavicius by first round TKO (MMA)

- Andris Kazoks beat Pawel Lukazczyk by unanimous decision (wins 75kg boxing title)

- Ryan Dennis beat Yohan Salvador by unanimous decision (MMA)

- Stevi-Ann Levy beat Emma Taylor by first round TKO (defends 61kg boxing title)

- Javid Basharat beat Julien Bouteix by first round submission (RNC, wins pro bantamweight MMA title)

- Luke Shanks beat Apostolos Gerapoulos by first round submission (standing guillotine, MMA)

- Scott Butters beat Jonathan Templier by first round submission (guillotine choke, MMA)

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