Derry Mathews came short in his attempt to win the WBO lightweight belt, in a night of high quality boxing action at the Echo Arena that saw Liam Smith successfully defend his British light-middleweight title.
Liverpool boxer Mathews failed in his attempt to dethrone WBO lightweight champion Stephen Ormond, losing by a unanimous points decision. Ormond was the aggressor in the fight, and kept Mathews on the back foot throughout. Both fighters celebrated at the bell, but it was Ormond, and the strong Irish support he brought to the arena, left celebrating when the result was announced.
Mathews damaged his right hand in the second round, but still felt he had done enough to win. All three judges scored the fight to Ormond and Derry claims that plans for a rematch in March have already been put into place.
Despite Mathews’ loss, it was still a good night for Liverpool boxing, with Liam Smith putting on a dominant performance against Mark Thompson in front of his home fans. The fighter was in control throughout, and a fourth round stoppage ensured the British light-middleweight belt would stay with him.
Dominating the opening rounds, Smith dropped his opponent, Mark Thompson, twice in the third round. Just 13 seconds into the fourth, Thompson was knocked down again, this time decisively.
Speaking after the fight, Smith said: “From the first 30 seconds I knew what mark Thompson was going to do and that fight was right up my street.”
Smith collected the vacant title in September, and following the victory on Saturday night, announced he had agreed to a new multi-fight deal with promoter Frank Warren.
Warren also gave his insight after the result, saying: “That’s the best I’ve seen him box, he’s certainly capable of winning a world title.”
A ten-bell salute was held before the event, in respect for both former South Africa president and anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela and South African boxer Jacob ‘Baby Jake’ Matlata, who, at 4ft 10in was the shortest world champion in history.
Joe Selkirk outclassed and stopped Zoltan Sera in the third round. The Merseyside man was due to face Ronnie Heffran, until the boxer from Oldham pulled out due to hand ligament damage. Sera stepped in at short notice, and it wasn’t far into the fight when Selkirk ended the bout with a powerful left hook to the body, and collected the WBO European light-middleweight belt as a result of the win.
Paul Butler excelled against Mexican fighter Ruben Montoya in a fight that saw the man from Ellesmere Port produce a classy points win, defending his WBO Inter-Continental super-flyweight title and adding the WBA Inter-Continental belt.
Liverpool’s Courtney Fry suffered a seventh round TKO at the hands of Welshman Enzo Maccarinelli, who kept hold of his Commonwealth light-heavyweight crown.
Also on the undercard was up-and-coming Liverpool boxer Matty Fagan, who eased past the experienced Youssef al Hamidi to make his professional record 4-0-0.