Scouse favourite Derry Mathews is now the two-time British lightweight champion following a hard-fought and predictably entertaining battle with Walsall warrior Martin Gethin.
The 30 year-old, who was fighting in his 46th professional contest, took most of the early rounds to take a commanding lead into the second half of the fight by using his superior boxing skills to fend off the title holder.
Mathews took the encounter to Gethin when needed, but also used his ringcraft and experience to frustrate his opponent to pick up the victory and the coveted Lonsdale Belt in front of his adoring fans at Liverpool’s Olympia.
The dogged Gethin came on strong in the final few rounds, but it didn’t seem enough to keep his title, although there were gasps from the crowd at the result as a split decision was announced prior to the scores.
It was a happy ending for Mathews though as cards of 117-113 and 116-112 gave the home fighter the title he originally claimed against Anthony Crolla in 2012, with one solitary judge scoring for Gethin 115-114.
‘Dirty’ Derry is now hoping for one last push towards his dream of world title fight as a tenth career defeat could spell the end of his title-laden spell in the ring.
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