Marc Leach earned himself a shot at British super bantamweight champion Brad Foster as he upset former amateur star Qais Ashfaq, dropping him twice on the way to winning a unanimous points decision in their ten-round eliminator on Matchroom’s Peterborough show.
Leach was a big underdog for the fight, but he roughed up Ashfaq early on and never allowed the unbeaten prospect to settle, knocking him down in the fourth and seventh rounds.
Ashfaq boxed at the Rio Olympics, although he often found Michael Conlan blocking his path, as he lost to the Irishman in the final of the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and the final to the European Championships a year later.
But he failed to pin Leach down and after getting hurt in the fourth round, Ashfaq was never able to find his way back into the fight.
Terry O’Connor scored it 96-92, Michael Alexander 96-93 and Bob Williams had it 95-93.
Leach had his share of success in the first three rounds, but in the fourth he made Ashfaq miss and then landed a heavy left hand, which sent Ashfaq tumbling to the floor. Ashfaq re-established himself in the fifth, sixth and seventh rounds, but with seconds remaining in the seventh, he landed with a left, but left himself open to a big left counterpunch and was dropped for the second time.
Ashfaq had some success in the last three rounds, but was never able to turn things around. Marcus McDonnell was the referee.