Johnny Fisher breaks the Copper Box curse to send message to the heavyweight division

Johnny Fisher delighted his travelling fans with another first-round knockout at the Copper Box on Saturday night.

The Romford Bull, as Fisher is known, sold over 4,000 tickets and needed precisely 36 seconds to leave Alen ‘The Savage’ Babic tumbling into dreamland. ‘Bosh’, as they say in the Fisher business, and it is a business.

It was Fisher’s fifth first-round stoppage in 12 fights and his 11th stoppage or knockout in total. It is easy to be a boxing cynic and say that Fisher has not yet been tested – that is true, but then it is also true of just about every unbeaten, popular fighter in the entire history of the sport. It is a slow and tested process.

“I dream of nights like this,” said Fisher, his flock ecstatic with the win and forming an endless chorus of approval. “This is why we train so hard. This is why we fight.”

The win was better than the raw statistics; Babic is not a bad fighter, but he was caught early, often and hurt quickly. Fisher was accurate and – this might sound like a contradiction – patient as he let both hands go. Fisher saw that he had hurt Babic, and he just unleashed his punches in one flowing assault.

It was impressive finishing.

The fans helped transform the night in a venue that has been looking for a hero since the Olympics left the city nearly 12 years ago; so many good fighters have flopped at the Copper Box. Perhaps Fisher and his horde will get a few more visits, and that could transform the place into a fortress packed with 5,000 devoted Fisher followers.

Top heavyweights Tyson Fury, Daniel Dubois and so many other quality boxers have fought in front of a lot of empty seats at the venue; the seats are bright and multi-coloured and tend to show up clearly. Fisher’s fans never quite filled it, but they came close, and they filled the venue with wild atmosphere that has been missing since it opened its doors to professional boxing.

The first fight there was Billy Joe Saunders against John Ryder for the British middleweight title in 2013, and it should have been heaving that night; it was a sign that the venue is hard to sell. Fisher has cracked the code and, if he fights there again, he might just sell every single ticket.

Johnny Fisher impressively knocked out Alen Babic in double quicktime (Getty Images)
Johnny Fisher impressively knocked out Alen Babic in double quicktime (Getty Images)
And then celebrated in front of a supportive Copper Box crowd (Getty Images)
And then celebrated in front of a supportive Copper Box crowd (Getty Images)

“You all made this possible,” Fisher told his fans from the ring at the end of the brief encounter. Fisher, by the way, also talked about a fight in Australia.

Fisher is just 25, still a novice in many ways, but he is improving with each outing and that is the real measure of a young heavyweight. The win is crucial, but a young boxer needs to show something different, show some new qualities and Fisher did. It was short, but it was not wild, and it could have been hard and ugly – Babic has the right nickname, he can be savage. Too many unbeaten and protected heavyweights just go through the motions in fight after fight and forget they are learning their trade.

Fisher will now get a lot of men wanting to fight him, wanting to beat him and wanting the type of payday that comes with fighting a popular boxer.

Johnny Fisher is not the best heavyweight in Britain and is possibly only just in the top ten and that is fine. Fisher is still a work in progress and so far, it has been a very entertaining journey. Good luck getting a ticket for his next fight.