New world champion Jack Massey now hungry for more titles after three-round demolition of Bilal Laggoune
Chapel's Jack 'One Smack' Massey said it was surreal and hadn't yet sunk in that he was the new IBO World cruiserweight champion.
Massey secured a third round stoppage in front of an army of over 500 travelling fans against Belgian Bilal Laggoune in a career-best performance at a packed Whites Hotel in Bolton.
Massey has now vowed to spend 2022 collecting more titles.
As he sat at Media City waiting to go on North West Tonight, he said: “It's all very surreal – especially being here at Media City – it's all very new, but it's all great.
“I was so excited after the ref called it off. It was everything I have dreamed about since I was a kid.
“And it all happened so quick – it was a big shock and it's still not sunk in yet. That's going to take another couple of weeks I reckon.”
Massey, who was joined by multiple world champion Ricky Hatton MBE on his ring walk, had said he would take his time to work his way into the fight, predicting a 10th round stoppage.
But a left hook on Laggoune's chin had his opponent in trouble and Massey then piled on the pressure, forcing the referee to intervene and stop it as the Belgian looked unsteady after getting up from a count.
Laggoune was the more experienced man with just two losses in 29 outings, but Massey boxed patiently from the first bell as he became the only man to stop his rival, and achieve his childhood dream in the process.
“It was a surprise to get him out there in the third round,” said Massey.
“I caught him with a good shot and he didn't recover from it. I put it on him after he got up a second time and the ref's called off the fight.
“He was a bit uneasy on his legs after getting up from the count and obviously the ref picked up on that and stopped it.
“It couldn't have gone any better for me. It was a great night.”
He added: “It was amazing to have fans back in there and we sold a hell of a lot of tickets for this one.
“It was great to have all that support behind me.
“Thanks to all the fans and sponsors who follow us as well as the guys who couldn't make it but were watching at home. Thanks for their continued support.
“It was brilliant and it was good to get everyone in the ring with me at the end.”
Now with a record of 19-1, with 10 KOs, 28-year-old Massey can look forward to a 2022 that promises title defences, unification bouts, or potentially both.
Massey would doubtless like to settle a score with a rematch against Richard Riakporhe – the only man to beat him – and will certainly dream of a match with WBO champion Lawrence Okolie.
“I will tick over until Christmas and then have a bit of time off,” said Massey.
“Then I will speak to the manager and promoters and see what they have got planned, whether it's defending this title or going for another title. We will see what's there.
“I want to keep collecting titles next so I will maybe look for another world title, I think that's what my team want as well.
“I reckon we will get possibly another three in next year and hopefully another three titles. We will see what's there to go for.”
He added: “I would definitely have a rematch with Richard Riakporhe.
“Obviously he's been off for a couple of years, so we will let him build himself back up, get himself a credible title and then possibly make it happen at the back end of next year.”