Richard O’Neill will be hoping to get “busy” in 2017 having made a knock-out return to the boxing ring.
The Hartlepool boxer KO’d Londoner Ricky Alan at Darlington in his first appearance for 13 months.
Following a first round that was understandably tentative, O’Neill delivered a booming right over the top which floored his opponent at the Dolphin Centre.
Referee Ron Kearney halted the contest, which was scheduled for four rounds, to give the Gus Robinson Developments man his second career win.
“I think the lad was out before he hit the canvas,” said head coach Peter Cope.
“It was a cracking shot and it was great to see him boxing again.
“The first round was not brilliant, but he had been out a long time.
“But it was a good finish and hopefully we can get him out there early in 2017 and then keep him busy.
“We’d love to get him a Northern Area title fight or something akin to that.
“We’re in no mad rush with Richard, he’s very new, but, on the other hand he’s 30 so time is not quite on our side.
“We’d certainly like to get him moving and when he has had a few more fights look to get him something meaningful.
“I’m proper over the moon with him – he’s a physically-strong lad and a fantastic trainer, we just need to build his experience.
In the top of the bill contest at the Dolphin Centre, unbeaten Sedgefield prospect Jeff Saunders extended his 100% run to nine wins when outpointing Fonz Alexander over six rounds.
It was only the fourth time in his flourishing career that the 25-year-old has been taken the distance.