Boxer Mathews loses Flanagan title bout

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Ringside at the Derry Mathews v Terry Flanagan fight. Pic by Matt Crosby © JMU Journalism

Ringside at the Derry Mathews v Terry Flanagan fight. Pic by Matt Crosby © JMU Journalism

Derry Mathews had his dream of becoming the WBO World lightweight champion in his home city of Liverpool dashed last night, as Mancunian Terry Flanagan won a unanimous points decision at the Echo Arena.

It was the 32-year-old Mathews’ tenth career defeat, but he did not go out with a whimper as both men put on a display that lived up to their pre-fight promise of giving the fans ‘a war’.

The contest was scored 117-110, 115-112, and 117-110, all in favour of the title holder Flanagan, however his Merseyside challenger left the arena with his head held high having put on a spirited, performance taking the fight the full distance.

The judges gave Flanagan 11 out of the 12 rounds boxed, with the second round, which Mathews seemed on top of, going down as a draw.

Despite landing several shots, including two that clearly rocked the champion in the fifth round, the rest of the fight was a dogged yet comfortable affair for Flanagan, although there were some nervy moments for the Southpaw fighter following a point deduction in the eighth round.

After numerous warnings from referee Phil Edwards, Flanagan finally had a point taken away for using a forearm, as the home crowd burst into chants of “Derry, Derry, Derry” sensing a huge upset on the cards, but it wasn’t to be.

Flanagan instead seemed to only gain in confidence as the fight went on, completely dominating the final four rounds, leaving only a knock-out enough for Mathews to succeed, but one that never looked like coming.

To the partisan local crowd, it seemed a much more level fight, but the lack of constant clean punches from Mathews, compared to the guile and skill of his opponent, proved exactly why he has gone his whole professional career unbeaten, winning all 30 of his bouts and continuing to justify his claims of being the best in the division.

The loss may also spell the end for Mathews, as the Liverpool favourite, who has managed British and Commonwealth honours, failed again with his latest world title shot. He took to Twitter afterwards to say: “Thanks to Liverpool fans for getting behind me tonight you was brilliant sorry for letting you down , could be the end of the journey x”

Flanagan, on the other hand, will now look towards a possible unification bout against WBA Lightweight Champion and fellow Manchester-born fighter, Anthony Crolla.

About Matt Crosby, JMU Journalism