Liverpool’s experienced warrior Derry Mathews came through a tough battle with hometown fighter Tommy Coyle in Hull on Saturday night to capture the Commonwealth lightweight belt against the odds.
The 29 year-old former British champion was behind on the cards throughout the contest as Coyle whipped the crowd into a frenzy with a barrage of punches in every round. Mathews had struggled to find his feet under the relentless pressure applied by Coyle and knew he was behind for the duration of the clash.
Coyle, 23, seemed to have the perfect gameplan as he pushed Mathews back through his sheer volume of punches, although ‘Dirty’ Derry somehow never looked out of the fight and was capable of inflicting his own damage.
Mathews proved this in the tenth round when behind 88-83 on my card after a cracking left hook got through a tiring Coyle’s guard and put an end to what was a brave challenge by the pre-fight underdog.
Picking up yet another title in his 43-fight career, Mathews honestly admitted that he probably didn’t win a round in the fight and praised Coyle for his efforts after finding a way to get the victory from a losing position.
It’s on to some more huge domestic battles for the hardened scouser next, with tasty match-ups with John Murray, Kevin Mitchell and possibly a third fight with Anthony Crolla on the horizon.
In chief support on the Matchroom bill, Kell Brook took full advantage of an agreed weight limit of 152lbs against former for Carson Jones to punish the American for eight rounds before referee Michael Alexander stepped in.
Jones, 26, was down twice in the fight, once in the second and again in the eighth as Brook’s size at the extended poundage told – in what was a dominant performance from start to finish.
The main event, for which 8,000 fans packed Craven Park, saw 2012 Olympic gold medallist Luke Campbell begin his pro career in the most impressive way possible against respected opponent Andy Harris.
The 25 year-old came out with intent from the first bell and put Harris down in the first thirty seconds, before following it up with another knockdown and ending the fight with a flurry in the corner that had Howard Foster stepping in.
There were also undercard wins for Rocky Fielding, Curtis Woodhouse, Lee Selby, Anthony Ogogo and John Ryder as Eddie Hearn brought a stacked card to the city in a an entertraining show that went on well past midnight.