Home comforts for Stalker
London 2012 Team GB boxing captain Thomas Stalker enjoyed an impressive 'home debut' in Liverpool as he won his second professional bout.
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The 28-year-old recently made the switch from the amateur code following his Olympic heartbreak and won his first fight in London.
Tonight he was making a high-profile return to his native Merseyside and came through comfortably as expected against Andrew Harris on points at the Echo Arena.
Stalker had made waves in the build-up to the fight by remarkably selling more than 1,000 tickets to his supporters for just a low-key four-round contest.
He rewarded their loyalty, too, with a slick performance against Harris, boxing well at range and frequently landing power shots with the southpaw right hook and left hand.
He cut Harris early on and pushed for the stoppage but had to settle for a 40-37 points win, with Harris claiming a share of one round.
"This city has the best support ever, Liverpool is a fighting city," Stalker said afterwards.
"I came down with a virus five days ago but no excuses, I was not at my best tonight."
On the same bill, Stalker's former Team GB team-mates Kal Yafai, Scott Cardle and Callum Smith all enjoyed victories.
Birmingham's Yafai, dropping to super-flyweight for the first time, comfortably outpointed Michael Ramabeletsa despite injuring his left bicep in the first round.
Blackpool-based Cardle beat Yves Mesny over four rounds while Liverpudlian Smith stopped Iain Jackson inside a round.