Terry Flanagan didn't keep up his two-fight streak of second round stoppage wins, but he got the job done in a fairly scrappy and sometimes downright dirty fight today in Liverpool, knocking off hometown challenger Derry Mathews by unanimous decision to retain the WBO lightweight title.
Flanagan (30-0, 12 KO) won on scores of 117-110, 115-112, and 117-110, with BLH also scoring the fight 117-110 for the defending titleholder, who faced a hostile crowd on his opponent's home turf. Flanagan, from Manchester, used a fair amount of dirty tactics in this fight, elbowing, forearming, straying low more than a few times, and was even docked a point in the eighth round. But he also simply was the better fighter, and dictated the pace of the fight with clever boxing and movement, never allowing Mathews (38-10-2, 20 KO) a chance to establish a real rhythm.
Flanagan removed any doubt in the fight by closing very strongly, including having arguably his best round in the 11th. Mathews was able to score with shots here and there over the fight, but never hurt Flanagan, and never found himself at the range he wanted, at least not for any sustained period of time. Flanagan was the fighter generally moving forward and backing down the other man, and he also slipped shots and put punches together nicely in spurts. It wasn't really a dominant performance, but a clear victory nonetheless, and keeps Flanagan stable near the top of the 135-pound ranks.
- Paul Butler def. Sebastian Sanchez by knockout (1:20 of round 9)
- Tommy Langford def. Lewis Taylor by unanimous decision (118-111, 118-111, 118-110)
- Zolani Tete def. Jose Santos Gonzalez by TKO (2:37 of round 7)
- Ryan Farrag def. Stefan Slavchev by knockout (2:12 of round 2)
- Vijender Singh def. Alexander Horvath by knockout (1:02 of round 3)
- Zelfa Barrett def. Damian Lawniczak by points (60-54)
- Leon Woodstock def. Ibrar Riyaz by points (40-36)