By Shaun Brown
Liverpool, England - Scotty Cardle showed a champion’s heart and resolve by successfully defending his British lightweight title in Liverpool tonight against Sean ‘Masher’ Dodd.
After a messy and scrappy yet enthralling and absorbing contest Cardle stopped his opponent in the 12th and final round after the champion got the better of a vicious toe-to-toe exchange which saw Dodd stumble and fall backwards to the ropes. The courageous challenger, who many had ahead on their scorecards (two judges had Dodd in front), rose to his feet but referee Terry O’Connor waved it off after 1.58 of the final 180 seconds. Arguments are now out in force as to whether O’Connor should’ve given Dodd a standing count.
From the onset Cardle looked awkward, clumsy and spent too much time getting cut and missing shots rather than taking the fight by the throat as he did in the ninth by outclassing Dodd over three minutes, something he should have done from the opening bell.
Cardle, who was cut three times (due to head clashes) to Dodd’s one, tried to force the issue too often with Dodd, a late comer to the sport, looking the more composed professional and more like a champion with each passing round. For every Cardle mistakes there was a Dodd punch to punish it. Emphasised by Cardle's trainer Joe Gallagher when he told his charge: “You’re walking on to silly shots!”
Afterwards, Cardle told Sky Sports: “I’ve been tested in the pros but never like that. One hundred per cent rematch, he deserves it.”
Dodd said: “The ref’s doing his job so I’ve got no say in that. I should’ve boxed a little bit on the back foot but we’re here to entertain and we’ll be back to do it again.
Promoter Eddie Hearn added: “I felt like the referee stopped it too early. One hunded percent a rematch. We have to see this fight again.
Earlier in the evening there were wins for bantamweight Marc Leach who moves to (6-1, 1 KO) after a points win against Ian Halsall (3-4-1). Lightweight Ohara Davies (9-0, 7 KOs) continued his impressive start in the professional ranks after forcing Chris Truman (13-2, 5 KOs) to retire on his stool at the end of round two of their contest. Debutant Ryan Mulcahy took just 41 seconds to see off fellow first-timer Ross Roberts at light welterweight. Former Team GB member Warren Baister wasted little time in getting his career off to a flying start after stopping Atilla Gyen in the first round of their cruiserweight bout. Tom Doran, who came in several pounds too heavy for what was a British middleweight title eliminator against Rod Smith, stopped his opponent with a body shot in three rounds. Doran takes his unbeaten record to (16-0, 6 KOs) and will hope to remain in the 160lb domestic picture after such a debacle.
Shaun Brown is Boxing Scene's UK Editor. Follow him on Twitter @sbrown2pt0 or contact him at [email protected]