The GLORY 54 SuperFight Series in Birmingham opened with the semifinals of the welterweight qualification tournament, setting the table for the tournament final later this year in England.
In the first half of the bracket, Road to GLORY UK winner Jamie Bates (24-7, 3 KO) took on ISKA British champion Tommy "K.O." King (24-6, 12 KO).
Bates scored on the outside early, taking advantage of his reach. King worked to cut off the ring, but he struggled to get inside on his taller foe.
Bates cracked King with a spinning backfist in the second round and followed with a knee. King wore it well, but his offensive attack continued to be limited at range.
A head kick from Bates found the chin of King in the third round, but it wasn’t enough to put King down. Bates’ methodical technique was the story of the fight as he swept the judges’ scorecards to advance in the tournament.
The second half of the ladder featured Leicestershire's Mark Timms (23-9-2, 10 KO) against Ireland's Dawid Blaszke (17-4, 11 KO).
Blaszke opened with low kicks, but Timms quickly answered with high kicks of his own. The pair ignored the feeling-out process and began to exchange in the center of the ring.
Timms shifted his attention to the body of Blaszke as the first round progressed. The body of Blaszke reddened from the work of Timms in the middle frame, as the English fighter landed kicks and punches with little resistance.
Knowing he was down on the scorecards entering the final stanza, Blaszke tried to draw Timms into a firefight, landing a vicious body shot early in the round.
Timms opted to employ defense, rather than trade wildly in the waning moments of the fight. The judges gave the nod to Timms when the final bell sounded.
Bates and Timms will lock horns in the tournament final at a yet-to-be-announced date and location.
Mark Timms def. Dawid Blaszke by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27) - welterweight tournament semifinal
Jamie Bates def. Tommie King by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27) - welterweight tournament semifinal