Anthony Crolla squeaks final fight MD, Katie Taylor now two-weight champ
In an unexpected ending to the night, Anthony Crolla was made to work for each and every minute of his final ten rounds in the sport.
Hand-picked opponent, the little-known Spanish-based Peruvian Frank Urquiaga, gave Crolla all the trouble he could handle.
Taking at least the first couple of rounds, Urquiaga threatened to turn Crolla’s bow into a nightmare finale.
Crolla came back in the mid-rounds but faded again late on. Eventually, and to the home crowd’s relief, Crolla was seemingly given the benefit of the doubt on two cards.
Two scores of 98-92 and 97-93 seemed highly unfathomable. A level card of 95-95 was much more like it. although Urquiaga can feel hard done by.
After the performance, Crolla fully ratified his decision to retire at 32.
Katie Taylor became a two-weight world title holder with a disciplined triumph over WBO super lightweight belt holder Christina Linardatou.
Using her boxing on the backfoot technique, Taylor danced her way to yet another crown.
Scoring 97-93 twice and 96-94, judges gave Taylor the nod ahead of more stern tests to come.
Fights against Amanda Serrano and Cecilia Braekhus are on the cards for 2020.
In yet another barnstorming battle on DAZN and Sky Sports, Felix Cash came through some hairy moments to retain his Commonwealth title.
The British middleweight star came out of the blocks with intent and almost ended the fight in the first round.
Dropping Jack Cullen, Cash looked on course for an early night. Not to be, as Cullen came firing back.
For five rounds, Cullen gave as good as he got and proved value for money once again.
Just as Cash seemed to be fading in the seventh, the champion found his power once again. Cullen went down for a second time but made it to the bell.
It wasn’t long into the eighth until Cash went head-hunting and Howard Foster called a halt.
Cash is now 12-0, 8 KO’s.
Terri Harper enjoyed a victorious birthday when successfully defending her IBO super featherweight title in dominant fashion.
Sticking to a working gameplan, Harper hardly put a foot wrong as she racked up the rounds.
In the end, Harper claimed the spoils 99-91, 99-92 and 97-93 with the judges at ringside.
Heavyweight Martin Bakole wasted no time scoring another stoppage as the out-of-depth Rodney Hernandez was quickly hurt and stopped.
Bakole got the job done in the second round and was always in control until the inevitable end came.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News and an Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay