WEARSIDER Michael “Robbie” Johnson stole the show from bill-topper Craig Carter in EFC7 (Extreme Full Contact) in front of a 1,000-strong crowd at Temple Park Leisure Centre in South Shields.
Carter successfully landed the vacant WUMA Pro U69kg British title, but Spartan clubmate Johnson rounded off his career in style with an impressive victory against world-class Finnish fighter Jarkko Jusilla.
Two-time world champion Johnson showed he was up for the 80th and final fight of an illustrious career that has seen him fight just about every UK fighter in the division, plus many international opponents including some of the world’s best fighters.
European champion Jusilla was a daunting task for his finale, but the five-round 64kg bout was a high-paced, action-packed thriller from start to finish.
Giant Finn Jusilla was unable to make his exceptional long range keep Johnson at bay as the Wearsider closed the gap time and again, finding his mark with body kicks, jabs, left hooks and straight rights and never looked fazed, despite taking some very heavy kicks from Jusilla.
Johnson duly bowed out after an excellent career with a unanimous points victory, with emotions running high for the Sunderland star.
Spartan pal Carter refused to have his thunder stolen and he was a man on a mission when he took on Lincoln’s Aaron Robinson for the vacant WUMA Pro Under-69kg British title.
Looking as sharp as ever, the flamboyant Carter hammered shots home with apparent ease and sent in a thunderous right body kick, which Robinson managed to block.
However, the powerful kick damaged Robinson’s arm so badly, he was unable to continue the fight, giving Carter the British title by a first-round TKO.
In all, long-established Sunderland kickboxing club Spartan had 17 fighters in action, with 11 wins, including six stoppages by knockout or TKO, and six losses.
Dean “Relentless” Petty disappointingly lost hisa WUMA Under-69kg Amateur British title belt, with undefeated Lincoln southpaw Tom Scutt using his range advantage superbly.
Petty pressured with combination punches, but Scutt’s impressive head movement and evasive manoeuvring helped him escape with the title and FlashTheCash.Com’s Amateur Fighter Of The Night cash prize.
Spartan endured another disappointment when former world champion Andy Burton was knocked out by top Scottish professional Ryan “The Style” Lyall in a fantastic five-rounder full of outstanding kicking.
Burton looked on course for a points success until Lyall spoilt his night with a well-timed, powerful right cross just 10 seconds from time.
In the other two professional contests, Scorpio’s Mickey Dunford outpointed Kuei Ling’s Paul Hutchinson over four rounds, while Kuei Ling’s heavyweight big hitter, Jamie Moore returned to the ring after a year out to finish off last-minute replacement Brad Carter in the first round.
Results: Logan Herron (Spartan) bt Kai Bindoff (Impact) pts, Mitchell Fairwether (Spartan) bt Jack Elsdon (Impact) pts, Dylan Davison (Warriors Gym) bt Harry Waters (Spartan) pts, Alfie Price (NMA) bt Jake Hudson (Kuei Ling) TKO 2nd rd, Luca Bloomfield (NEKA) bt Kane Waters (Spartan) pts, David Bryant (Kuei Ling) bt Ian Thirlaway (Spartan) pts, Sean Defty (Spartan) bt Ryan Mughan (Tyneside Kickboxing) pts, Steve Allen (Kuei Ling) bt Phil Byers (Spartan) pts, Tom Reid bt Ethan Stevenson (Tyneside Kickboxing) TKO 3rd rd, Cal Hewitt bt Daniel Bennett (Independent Fighter) TKO 1st rd, Rob Bennett (Scorpio) bt Adam Jensen (Kuei Ling) pts, Connor Long (Millennium Martial Arts) bt Emanuel Fita (Satroshido) pts, Shannon Graham (NMA) drew with Laura Burnette (Kuei Ling), Jake Thirlaway (Spartan) bt Roy Goggins (Kuei Ling) TKO 2nd rd, Toju Evboumwan (Aiki) bt Anthony Barldridge (J C Kickboxing) pts, Lewis Nelson (Kuei Ling) V Martin Young (Satroshido) no contest, Michael Gilbertson (Spartan) bt Mick Kerr (Tyneside Kickboxing) TKO 1st rd, Kev Moy (Kuei Ling) bt Craig Fletcher (Satroshido) pts, Nathan McCarthy (Kuei Ling) bt Kev Conlon (Cleveland Kickboxing) pts, Ian Griffiths (Spartan) bt Eddie Taylor (Impact Martial Arts) TKO 1st rd, Michael Gibson (Spartan) bt Alan Chapman (Impact Martial Arts) pts, Tom Scutt (Lincoln Kickboxing) bt Dean Petty (Spartan) pts, Michael “Robbie” Johnson (Spartan) bt Jarkko Jusilla (Wassa FightSport, Finland) pts, Micky Dunford (Scorpio) bt Paul Hutchinson (Kuei Ling) pts, Ryan Lyall (Fusion, Scotland) bt Andy Burton (Spartan) KO 5th rd, Jamie Moore (Kuei Ling) bt Brad Carter (Independent Fighter) TKO 1st rd, Craig Carter (Spartan) bt Aaron Robinson (Lincoln Kickboxing) TKO 1st rd