Eddie Hearn says he wants Peterborough middleweight Cello Renda to challenge for the English title after his points win in Birmingham last night (March 5).
The 30 year-old fans’ favourite outpointed Mike Byles over six rounds in a crowd-pleasing punch-up on Hearn’s show at the Genting Arena.
He won every round on the referee’s scorecard and Hearn said: “I’m looking to get Cello a shot at a title next, possibly the English title.
“I’m happy to put Cello on my shows.
“He is a good guy who does a lot of work with kids and he’s always entertaining.
“He’s nearing the end of his career now, but he can definitely win an English title.
“The way he boxed last night shows there’s plenty of life in the old dog yet.
“Byles is no mug and I thought Cello boxed really well.”
The vacant English title will be contested by Joe Mullender and Lee Markham at the O2 Arena on Saturday, May 21 and if Hearn has his way, Renda will face the winner.
Renda has twice challenged for the St George’s belt before - losing to Paul Smith and Danny Butler, the latter in front of his home crowd at the East of England Showground.
Smith, eldest of the four history-making brothers from Liverpool, was ringside at the Genting Arena, commentating for Sky Sports.
He regards Renda as “one of the hardest punchers I’ve faced,” but Renda relied on his skills to beat Byles.
Renda was supposed to box Ben Wilkes in an English-title eliminator on the show.
Wilkes pulled out and Renda instead faced Byles, a 28 year-old from Warwick.
Byles came to fight, but Renda was too good.
He was only a clean punch or two away from forcing a stoppage in the second round when he had Byles on rubbery legs.
Renda went for the knock-out, but couldn’t find the punches to finish the fight and settled to outbox Byles.
Renda boxed well behind a sharp jab, made Byles fall short and countered with heavy-handed flurries.
From the fourth, Renda boxed with an injury to his left hand and he also finished the fight with some bruising under his left eye.
Renda regarded it as “one of my best performances” in his 41-fight professional career against an opponent he described as “a tough, tough cookie.”
Renda added: “He caught me in the first round and that woke me up a bit.
“I was watching ‘Come Dine With Me’ in my changing room before the fight and I was still thinking about lasagne when I got in the ring !
“I was maybe a bit too relaxed in there.
“But he caught me with a shot and that switched me on.
“I hit him with some cracking shots and he took them.
“I’m happy. I think my experience showed.
“I felt very sharp in there and that’s because even though I haven’t been fighting much, I’ve stayed in the gym working hard.
“I’m looking for a title fight next.”