Jan Bergman's class act in scoring a lopsided unanimous points win over Irish challenger Derek Roche has opened doors that could see him leave the local scene for world recognition.
In dismantling and dropping Roche six times - three times in the eighth round - in the first defence of his World Boxing Union welterweight title, Bergman won himself many fans and a return date to Britain for a second defence in April or May.
"Major bouts are in store for Bergman. He showed wonderful maturity and, remember, he had (then International Boxing Federation junior welterweight champion) Kostya Tzyu in trouble before making the fatal mistake of slugging it out," said a delighted Rodney Berman.
Bergman's wide 119-109, 119-107 and 117-107 victory in a joint Lion/Golden Gloves Promotions feature bout staged at the York Hall in Bethnal Green, East of London, prompted Roche to remark: "He is definitely among the top 10 in the world. He can box and he can fight."
A change of tactics by Bergman's camp led by chief trainer Harold Volbrecht on Saturday night, ensured smooth sailing rather than the stormy brawl and rough house tactics Volbrecht expected.
Roche carried the bout to the champion and was constantly stopped in his tracks by right handers instead of the left hook that has seen Bergman keep 31 of his previous opponents at bay.
Former twice "world" junior flyweight champion, Masibulele "Hawk" Makepula stopped the Philippine's Melvin Magramo on a ninth round technical knockout to win the vacant IBO flyweight title on the undercard.
Although celebrating his fighter's third "world" title in 21 bouts (20-1), Makepula's manager Mzi Mnguni was disappointed by Magramo. "Although it was important for us to win, Magramo never gave us trouble," said Mnguni. "He is awkward and has a funny style. He didn't give us trouble."
SA lightweight champion Martin Jacobs realised how sad boxing can be at world level. He got the short end of the stick while challenging Colin Dunne (36-1) for the WBU lightweight title at the Goresbrook Leisure Centre, Dagenham, the same night.
"We got terribly robbed. This is the worst decision I have seen in my career. I'm very upset and am going to appeal to the WBU. We'll be glad with a return match," complained Jacob's manager Brian Mitchell of a split decision. One judge gave the fight 115-112 to Jacobs, who dropped Dunne in the first round. The two other judges gave Dunne 114-113 and 114-113.