By Elliot Foster
Echo Arena, Liverpool - Ryan Burnett kept hold of his British title with a points win.
The Belfast bantamweight successfully negated the first defence of his bauble in a gruelling 12-round showdown against hometown man Ryan Farrag, exclusively live on Sky Sports.
Burnett was behind after a couple of rounds, with Farrag enjoying spells of early success, but the fight soon became the Adam Booth-trained man’s to lose.
Throughout the middle rounds, the fight was monotonous, with both fighters throwing and one being more effective than the other.
And although Burnett pulled away, Farrag tried to make it competitive in attempting to keep up with him down the stretch.
But eventually, it just wasn’t enough and Burnett got the decision, as part of the undercard to Tony Bellew’s first WBC cruiserweight world title against colourful Californian BJ Flores.
It was a cracking fight, but one man was better than the other throughout the course of the contest and all three judges had it in favour of the Ulsterman by margins of 118-111, 117-111 and 118-110.
Burnett now moves to 15-0 with nine early, while Farrag suffered his second defeat on the bounce as he slips to 16-3 with four early.
ALSO ON THE CARD
Sean Dodd remains a champion after being handed a controversial split-decision victory.
The Birkenhead lightweight looked to have had his Cinderella story ended by very good Belgian Francesco Patera, 23, exclusively live on Sky Sports, and it seemed he had succumbed his WBC International belt in the process, exclusively live on Sky Sports, as part of the undercard to Tony Bellew’s first WBC cruiserweight title defence against colourful Californian BJ Flores.
But the 32-year-old lives to fight another day as a champion following three contentious scorecards which were handed in by the ringside judges.
The fight began with Patera on the front foot and the pattern remained similar throughout, with Dodd seemingly needing a stoppage to win after around five rounds.
However, he managed to turn it round down the stretch, closing up the gaps and making it his type of fight after he realised there was no way he would win in a boxing match against his skilful counterpart, who slips to 16-2 with seven early, and was announced the victor by master of ceremonies John McDonald after scorecards of 96-95 to Patera and the pair which secured the decision of 96-94 twice.