Coach David Binns is convinced Warren Baister is destined for cruiserweight glory after the former GB amateur number one made it five straight wins as a professional.
But the Sunderland star’s win over former Olympian, Christian Adjofack, at the Rainton Meadows Arena on Saturday night turned out to be something of an anti-climax.
Baister had enjoyed a strong start, but just as the contest was beginning to hot up, the Cameroon fighter, now based in Thornaby, pulled out at the end of the second round, complaining of a shoulder problem.
For all the premature finish left the home corner at Houghton with a feeling of ‘what might have been’, Binns said the 31-year-old Wearsider was firmly on course for the title scene.
“Warren’s looking good for the eliminators,” said the Peterlee trainer. “He’s definitely in that bracket.
“He’s not got a long time like some of the younger guys, but I do believe by the time he’s 33, he’ll be up there [at the top].”
Baister had impressed early on with his jab and jolted Adjoufack with a short left hook to the African’s head. He appeared to hurt his rival in the second with some heavy rights to the body though he seemed to be too rushed when a measure of patience may have created an opening.
Adjoufack had competed well and the match looked just to be boiling up when the away corner called referee Steve Hawkins, who accepted his retirement.
“By the end of the second round it looked on the cards that Warren would find his range,” added Binns.
“I’d just said to him on his stool that he needed to give himself room and then he would enjoy success.
“But then seconds later, the lad had pulled out.
“Adjoufack was very crafty but Warren was trying to out-man him instead of giving himself room to let his shots go. But that was his first fight since May and I was happy with him.”
While one Sunderland cruiserweight was winning on his doorstep, another was making a stunning pro debut 275 miles away in London.
Baister’s friend, Jake Bonallie, who only joined the pro ranks in December, clinched a four-round points victory over Craig Glover on the David Haye v Tony Bellew undecard.
The 27-year-old, from Seaburn, landed some crunching blows to the head of the undefeated Liverpool fighter and was awarded a 39-38 verdict by referee Bob Williams.
Glover began smartly, perhaps no shock given a mixture of nerves and ring-rust from Bonallie.
But once he warmed into the bout, he beat Bellew’s pal to the punch on a consistent basis and did not lose any of the last three rounds and deserved his victory.