Felix Cash and Jack Cullen put on a hell of a show today in Manchester, and Cash retained his Commonwealth middleweight title against the very game challenger in a back-and-forth battle.
Cash (12-0, 8 KO) stopped Cullen (17-2, 8 KO) at 1:14 of the eighth round. The fight looked at first like it was going to be a quick night of work for the titleholder, but that wasn’t the case, as Cullen fought back and made a real go of it before wilting a bit.
Cash, 26, came out firing away with right hands, and he was blasting the 25-year-old Cullen pretty cleanly in the opening round. Cullen went down early and it looked like he was going to be thrashed in one, but he was able to recover, move around some more, and fight back down the stretch.
From there, it became a real fight. Cullen did some good work to the body and gave Cash a lot of problems in the next five rounds, but Cash caught him with a body shot late in the seventh round, and as Cullen was folding and going to the canvas, Cash inadvertently hit him behind the head on the way down, too.
That shot behind the head left Cullen a little dazed, it seemed, and may have been a big reason he just wasn’t able to recover. He made it through the seventh, but Cash pounced in the eighth and put him away with a barrage of shots that forced the referee to step in.
“He took some big shots and went down and kept getting back up,” Cash said. “I rushed my work a little bit and that’s why I didn’t get him out in the first. I had a bit of ring rust in there and made a couple silly mistakes. I want to keep active now, keep in the gym.”
“Felix Cash was outstanding. Huge respect as well to Jack Cullen,” promoter Eddie Hearn said. “This was a breakout performance for Felix Cash. It’s one thing winning, but it’s winning in style like that in a Fight of the Year contender. He’s had a terrible year — cuts, illnesses, hand (injuries), now I’d like to see him challenge for the European title.”