After outlasting Ted Cheeseman in a brutal fight last October, Troy Williamson would have hoped for an easier night in his first defence of the British super-welterweight title he won that night. 

It didn’t happen, as he got off the floor in the second round to win a war of attrition against Mason Cartwright on Probellum’s show in Newcastle. 

It was a war from the opening bell, Cartwright being on top in the first half, then Williamson digging deep to take over from halfway. 

Williamson retained his title by a unanimous decision but two of the judges didn’t seem to give much credit to Cartwright. 

John Latham had it 114-113, which looked fair enough, but Phil Edwards and and Terry O’Connor had it surprisingly wide. Edwards had it 116-111, while O’Connor had it 117-112, meaning he only gave Cartwright two rounds. 

“Mason is a tough kid,” Williamson said. “One day he will be British champion himself.” 

Cartwright began well, getting through with a good right midway through the first. But in the second he really made his impact, landing a left hook then an overhand right that dropped Williamson to his haunches.  

Two more rights landed as Cartwright went for the finish and Williamson looked to hold on, but he saw out the round and did better at the start of the third, finally getting behind the jab. 

The two went toe-to-toe at the end of the round as Cartwright as the heads clashed and there were signs in the fourth round that Williamson was getting through with some hard shots. 

In the fifth and sixth rounds there were signs that Williamson was warming to the task, as he started beating Cartwright to the punch, although Cartwright finished the sixth well, landing a right uppercut that knocked Williamson’s head back. 

The seventh was a good one for Williamson, and edged a close eighth, while the ninth was a classic as Williamson started taking risks to land, while Cartwright seemed to walk through everything to land his own shots. 

At the end of the tenth, both seemed to rock each other as they exchanged punches at the end of the round, while Williamson was getting on top in the eleventh, timing the right well and landing three good shots, one that seemed to stagged Cartwright. 

The pair continued to exchange bombs in the last, as the crowd stood through the concluding round. 

“Some of the scoring I am a bit questionable over, but credit to Troy, maybe we can do it again,” Cartwright said. “It was my first 12-rounder, I know I will come again. I’ve had one round in 2½ years.” 

Thomas Patrick Ward, the WBO’s No 2 super-bantamweight, is now unbeaten in 33 fights (one technical draw) although he did little more than have another ticking over fight as he took every round on referee Ron Kearney’s scorecard for a 100-90 decision over Alexia Boureima Kabore, of Burkina Faso. 

Super-middleweight Mark Dickinson moved to 3-0 with a six-round win over Peter Kramer, of Hungary. 

Dickinson, a former Team GB amateur, dominated doing best when firing shots to the body. He took Ron Kearney’s decision 60-54. 

Joe Laws suffered his second professional defeat (to 12 wins), as he dropped a 58-57 verdict on John Latham’s card against Southampton-based Russian Alexey Tukhtarov. 

That was the notable away win on the undercard, while there were six-round points wins for super-flyweight Joe Maphosa and super-welterweight Alex Farrell. 

Cruiserweight Robert Ismay moved to 11-0 as he stopped Cameroonian Christian Donfack Adjoufack in the fourth round of a real tear-up, while another cruiserweight, Moe Sayers, made a successful debut with a second-round stoppage of Darryl Sharp.  

Ron Lewis is a senior writer for BoxingScene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.