Cleverly shines brightest
BBC Sport at the LG Arena, Birmingham
If Saturday night in Birmingham was a learning night for British boxing fans, then it was Welshman Nathan Cleverly who taught us most.
There were some experts - including former lightweight world champion and now Sky pundit Jim Watt - who thought Karo Murat, out of Germany via war-torn Iraq, would have too much for the 23-year-old from Cefn Fforest.
But Cleverly demonstrated he possesses the heart, stamina and chin to thrive at world level in winning just about every round against his obdurate, if limited, foe.
We already knew Cleverly had the offensive tools - the long jab, the looping hooks and uppercuts - now all he needs to do is learn how to pace himself and tighten up that defence. Murat is a decent puncher but others will hit harder.
Cleverly won almost every round against his rugged, previously unbeaten opponent
Including, one suspects, WBO light-heavyweight champion Jurgen Brahmer, who has an impressive tally of 29 knockouts from 38 professional fights.
Cleverly's match at the LG Arena was an eliminator for the German's title, although he may end up being crowned without throwing a punch if Brahmer's appeal against a 16-month prison sentence for assault is unsuccessful.
Jean Pascal, the WBC title-holder who was involved in a barn-storming fight with Nottingham's Carl Froch at super-middleweight in 2008, is the king-pin of the division.
But we now know that if maths graduate Cleverly were to fight the grim, remorseless Canadian somewhere down the line, he would have most of the angles covered.
Sheffield's Kell Brook pipped Cleverly to the British boxing writers' young boxer of the year award in 2009 but was overshadowed in Birmingham, his eagerly-anticipated fight against the experienced Michael Jennings the evening's biggest anti-climax.
Promoter Frank Warren said beforehand that this was the night we would find out if Brook, the British welterweight champion and number one contender for Manny Pacquiao's WBO crown, was as good as we all thought he was.
Promoter Frank Warren wants Maccarinelli to hang them up after his latest defeat
Meanwhile, Chorley's Jennings predicted the bout, a Yorkshire-Lancashire, War of the Roses affair, would be "better than the Middle Ages".
A 12-round fight for the British welterweight title was always going to struggle to contend with 1,000 years of European history, although it depends on how you choose to define 'better' - there were no wars or plagues or outbreaks of syphilis at the LG Arena, at least as far as I am aware.
But for all the pre-fight hyperbole, it was an awkward, frustrating encounter, for boxers and fans alike, the upshot being we are yet to learn whether Brook is the real deal or not.
And while there has been some talk of putting him in a world title fight later this year - Warren is planning another blockbuster bill in December to celebrate 30 years in the business - a match with European champion Matthew Hatton would seem to make more short-term sense. After all, Brook is only 24.
"Because the head has eyes," was the great Sam Langford's reply when asked why he targeted his opponents' bodies so often, before adding: "Kill the body and the head will die."
Matthew Hall will say "amen" to that following his defeat by Lukas Konecny, who claimed the vacant European light-middleweight crown with a sixth-round stoppage.
Chisora (left) is calling out David Haye but it's a fight that would do nothing for Haye's credibility
Hall had his ribs tickled by a wicked left in the second and thereafter the writing was on the wall, the Czech fighter flooring his rival with another barge pole to the breadbasket early in the sixth, from which the Mancunian never recovered.
Hall announced afterwards that he was calling it a day - "I'm not going to be second best and scrape around" - and one must hope Enzo Maccarinelli follows him into retirement.
Maccarinelli's defeat at the heavy hands of Germany-based Ukrainian Alexander Frenkel was a sickener and showed how fine the line can be between a boxer relaunching himself on the world stage and falling through the trapdoor into oblivion.
Swansea's Maccarinelli, 30, looked to be controlling the fight and ahead on points when Frenkel swung a left from somewhere down by his knees and detonated it on his rival's chin.
Only referee Erkki Meronen will know why he allowed Maccarinelli, who was unable even to raise his gloves, to continue and for a few anxious minutes it looked as though we might have a tragedy on our hands. Were it not for the speedy reactions of the ringside medics, we might have done.
Afterwards, Warren, who has seen his fair share of tragedy in the ring, called on Maccarinelli to quit. A former world champion, the Welshman has nothing left to prove.
I might get pilloried for saying this, but surely it is too soon for James DeGale and George Groves to meet?
Former Olympic champion DeGale gave a polished performance in dismantling Carl Dilks in one round and immediately called out Commonwealth champion Groves, who, like DeGale, is from Hammersmith and is an old rival from their amateur days.
Warren says he has offered Groves' team - Hayemaker Promotions - "good money" and that they should expect a written offer on Monday.
However, while I like to see the best in Britain get it on, perhaps it would be better to let this one simmer. While it would be a decent fight in December, it could be an even better one a year or two down the line.
Chisora gave a decent account of himself in defeating Norwich's Sam Sexton on Saturday - but with Haye's credibility already under scrutiny after he failed to nail down a fight with one of the Klitschko brothers and opted for Harrison instead, one has to hope a bout with Chisora never happens.
Before Saturday's bill, there were some rumblings on the 606 messageboards to the effect that, without a standout, world-level fight, it should never have been anywhere near pay-per-view.
Having sat through five hours of sometimes compelling boxing, I would have to disagree, although, like most fans, I would prefer it if the sport wasn't on pay-per-view at all.
But it is what it is and better the best of Britain crammed onto one bill than some of the cards I have seen down the years, when the headline fight has been over in a jiffy and the supports have been low-grade and few and far between.
And that is what I learnt on Saturday, the night Nathan Cleverly shone brightest and taught us most of all.