It proved to be a decent scrap in the end for the WBO lightweight title between Terry Flanagan and Derry Mathews in Liverpool, but was perhaps a more tactical battle than some expected going into the bout.
In a scrappy beginning, both men looked to try to take foothold of the fight, however Flanagan perhaps got the best of the early action and landed some decent body work, mixed in with decent straight punches.
As the fight progressed, so did the tempo.
Matthews as game as ever, worked his way into the fight a bit at times, with some decent right hands and his usual grit and determination.
Despite this and forcing some very close and sometimes dirty rounds, Flanagan’s movement and and extra sharpness in his work was just to prove to be a little too much, always just one step ahead.
An intriguing contest developed in the mid rounds with Flanagan boxing at distance to good effect, fighting behind a sensible strategy.
Round 8 saw a point deducted from Flanagan for use of the elbow, perhaps a bi-product of the referee been tired of some of the fouling going on by both men.
Flanagan’s ring generalship and distance proved to be the difference on the night, who controlled the fight overall on route to a decision victory, despite some great rallies from Mathews at times – but perhaps a long career may have caught up with him at world level in the end.
Going down the stretch Mathews needed a knockout to win, but it wasn’t to come, with Flanagan’s center of the ring space control not allowing Mathews to close the distance necessary to really get anything big off to force a stoppage.
The final scorecards read out in unanimous decision favour of Terry ‘Turbo’ Flanagan..
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