JACK Cullen produced arguably the most polished performance of his career to see off John Docherty and take a step closer to a British title chance.

Little Lever’s Meat Cleaver was down in the first round against the previously unbeaten Commonwealth Games bronze medallist but rallied impressively to take the 10-round super-middleweight fight 96-64 on two cards and 95-94 on the other.

Under a new training team led by Chorley’s former British welterweight champion and world title challenger Michael Jennings and his brother Dave, Cullen dominated sections of the fight with The Bolton News having him victorious by a wider margin behind closed doors at Wembley Arena.

Believing he had a point to prove back on Sky Sports under the Matchroom banner, the 27-year-old produced an impressive display having drawn with Zak Chelli last time out.

"First round I ended up slipping on my backside," said Cullen, who has now won 19 of his 22 fights as a professional.

"If people thought it was a knockdown, it wasn't. I had to work and push it. Every time I went back to the corner Michael and Dave said, 'look, you need to get stuck in here and dig deep'. That's what I feel like I did to win the fight. 

The Bolton News:

"That's the first time I'd ever fought a southpaw. I was getting caught with stupid shots for the first couple of rounds. It was time to tuck up and dig deep. I feel like I was really coming on after the fourth round. I still feel like it was a big step up for him.”

The pair had been set to fight different opponents with Cullen’s foe Jamie Cox picking up a cut in sparring and Jack Arnfield, pencilled in to face rising star Docherty, ruled out through illness.

The Scot had won all nine of his fights, with seven knockouts, heading into battle and must have thought he was in for more of the same when a left hook sent Cullen down in the first 30 seconds.

But the former English middleweight champion rallied impressively in the second before cutting Docherty above the right eye in the third.

An attritional fight unfolded before a composed Cullen made a major breakthrough in the eighth, with several telling shots breaching the Docherty defence.

With the Bolton fighter continuing to look the stronger in the final six minutes he was given the verdict on the cards and will now look towards securing a shot at the British title at 168lb after an impressive second outing at the weight.

The Bolton News:

"I take my hat off to him for taking the fight,” Cullen said.

“We were supposed to be fighting different people tonight. We're young and we'll fight anybody, there's no reason not to.

“There's a lot more for me to work on. They've (the Jennings brothers) only had me for between six and eight weeks which isn't a lot of time.

"I feel like I'm going to come on bigger, stronger and better. This is my natural weight at super-middle. I've grown into it and it's time to take over. I'm here for a fight, I'm young and I've got self-belief. I feel like I'm good enough."