BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Ted Cheeseman blasted his way past Paul Upton to chalk up his 15th straight win – with promoter Eddie Hearn hoping a shot at the Commonwealth title could be next.
The exciting Bermondsey puncher had promised he was levels above his opponent as two unbeaten records went on the line at Bethnal Green’s York Hall on Wednesday night.
And Cheeseman backed up those words with a fourth round stoppage to retain his WBA international super-welterweight title.
Upton was down three times in the fourth, as well as being deducted a point for holding, and lacked the power to keep the swarming South Londoner away from him.
By the third round it was clear that the challenger from Romford, now 15-1, was in deep trouble.
And even spitting his gumshield to the canvas after his first knockdown – his corner buying extra time as they washed it out – was only the most temporary of reprieve.
Cheeseman underlined why he should be seen as one of Britain’s top up-and-coming boxers and next on his hitlist could be Australian Michael Zerafa (24-2) for the Commonwealth belt.
There are also tasty domestic showdowns with the likes of Anthony Fowler, Scott Fitzgerald and the former European champion Sam Eggington.
“I sent out a big statement,” said Cheeseman, who has won 10 inside the distance. “Respect to Paulie, he’s a good fighter and came and had a go – but I walked through him. I showed how big I am at the weight, how strong I am and how hard I punch.
“Tony [Sims, trainer] worked me really hard. He wanted me to put pressure on from the start. I’m really fit and could do it from the first bell.
“I had my acid test against Carson Jones and proved I can do it when it gets hard. I’ve shown I’m ready for anyone at domestic level.”
Trainer Sims said: “I want to say all respect to Paul Upton. What a game kid, he was down three times and could easily have quit when he went down. But he got up and had a right go.
“Ted Cheeseman is 22 and an absolute beast in the gym. He trains like a lunatic. He is an animal, like Ricky Burns. He is fit and can punch – I think he will go a long way.”
It will be down to Hearn to plot the path for Cheeseman, who has fast-tracked his way up the rankings by taking fights against dangerous opponents.
“The best way to describe Ted is as a right handful,” said Hearn. “Sam Eggington is looking for these big challenge fights but domestically we have Anthony Fowler and Scott Fitzgerald.
“I’d like to see him fight Zerafa for the Commonwealth and I’d like to see him win the British. I know Fowler and Fitzgerald want it – they are game. It should be good.”