Derry Mathews picked up the most lucrative title of his career in taking a unanimous decision verdict over the rough and ready Tony Luis at the Echo Arena in Liverpool.
In a closely-fought contest, late replacement Luis gave his all and made it a fantastic fight to watch as Mathews crowned a long career by picking up the interim WBA lightweight championship.
Between four and six rounds could have easily have gone either way and a split decision would not have been a surprise end to what was a dirty fight at times as both boxers fought to their strengths. Mathews used his superior jab, whilst Luis bossed the inside, but ultimately the 32 year-old prevailed 115-112 and 114-112 (twice) on the cards after the pair were deducted a point each in the eighth session.
As Richar Abril is now the champion in recess, it’s up to the WBA whether Mathews will now face new title holder Darleys Perez or the Cuban, whilst an interim defence in the UK also remains a possibility.
In the co-feature, British super welterweight Liam Smith moved one step closer to a world title shot with a dominant seventh round win over David Romero.
Smith, 26, put the Argentine down several times during the fight to make it five knockouts in a row in claiming the vacant WBO Inter-Continental title.
A fight against Carson Jones continues to hover on the horizon for Smith if the American finally accepts the offer as the Merseysider moves on to 20-0-1.
Earlier, Joe Selkirk returned from a lengthy layoff to dispatch Spaniard Yuri Pompilio in six rounds and in the process record his 13th pro victory over a seven-year period.
The 29 year-old, who is highly-rated in boxing circles, predictably had too much in his locker for Pompilio, 31, despite some ring rust, and inflicted a tenth career loss at his own pace.
Also on the bill which has gone solely to form, Josh Leather and Macaulay McGowan scored points wins over six and four rounds respectively, whilst Andrew Cain and Steven Lewis both bagged early stoppages as all four maintained perfect C.V’s.
In the final bout of the evening, flyweight Iain Butcher defeated Brett Fidoe on points over eight rounds.