As the last remaining Smith brother on a bill which was originally due to feature Paul and Stephen also defending their British titles, Liam (11st) looked the boss from the opening bell. Thompson’s (10st 12lbs 8oz) responses carried a fair amount of pop, and he looked fit and powerful himself, but couldn’t match Smith in any department. The Liverpudlian judges distance extremely well, and delivers a powerful range of shots from behind a tight guard.
Smith poured on the pressure in the final minute of the third. A quick right hand put Thompson down on his knees, but he bounced straight back up and was throwing back. Smith put damaging combinations together to put him down again on the ropes as the bell went. Referee Phil Alexander counted, making it a 10-7 round.
Thompson made it back to the corner OK, but Smith piled straight in after the break and landed a right hand. Thompson wasn’t badly hurt by the shot, but was defenceless and too easy to hit. Phil Edwards called it off just 13 seconds into the round.
As Smith alluded to afterwards, Thompson was “right up his street” but just like brothers Stephen (super feather) and Callum (super middle), Liam looks to have the tools to compete way beyond domestic level and could have a very bright future. Three world champion brothers is certainly not beyond the realms of possibility. Liam is happy under the guidance of Frank Warren, and has signed a new deal.
He said: "I'm my own man and I'm glad we got the deal done. I'm now pushing forward in 2014 to either win the Lonsdale belt outright with two further title defences or go for the European title and be in a strong position at the end of the end of the year to be looking at a world title. I'll leave that to Frank to sort out and I'll continue winning in the ring.”
In his first fight under new promoters Queensberry, Liverpool’s Dirty Derry Mathews (34-9-2) was outfought by plucky Dubliner Stephen ‘The Rock’ Ormond (15-1) who upset the odds with a dominant, gutsy performance over the experienced Commonwealth champion.
Ormond’s ‘Rock’ moniker isn’t the only similarity between himself and former WBA light welter champion gavin Gavin Rees. The irishman’s buzzsaw attacks were reminiscent of the Tazmanian Devil, and as the rounds progressed, Mathews found it difficult to cope with the speed at which they came. Judges scored Dave 98-93, 98-93, and 98-92 for Ormond.
Mathews has enjoyed a busy 2013. A draw with Anthony Crolla was followed by stoppage wins against Hull’s Tommy Coyle and Driffield’s Curtis Woodhouse, but this defeat is a setback, and it’s not going to get any easier. In March, he’s down to defend his Commonwealth title against mandatory challenger, unbeaten Ghanaian Richard ‘Anzonto’ Commey - certainly no soft import.
Former WBO cruiserweight champion Enzo Maccarinelli (38-6) stopped former Olympian Courtney Fry (18-3) in the seventh round of a scheduled ten. There was some speculation as to why this was reduced to a ten rounder, having originally been announced as a light heavyweight Commonwealth title defence over 12 rounds some three weeks ago.
According to the commentator, Fry was unable to make the 12st 7lbs weight, but in an interview with Livefight, Fry’s trainer, Paul Stevenson, suggests that there was a lack of communication between the Board and Fry’s manager Steve Wood regarding check weights. Whatever happened, it meant 3K less wages for Fry, who was taking his first fight in over a year. Enzo put Fry down in the opener from a right hand to the chin and and glancing left hook to the head. Fry wasn’t badly hurt and came back in the second, but good body shots from Maccarinelli, who looked solid and happy at the weight, took the round.
The Welshman’s long jab was the difference in the third, but Fry put a better shift in the fourth. Enzo caught Fry with a big right hand which he took flush on the chin, and returned to outwork the former world champion, who didn’t throw much after that. Trainer Gary Lockett had words, and Enzo upped the pace again in the fifth, but was matched by Fry, who had taken some good shots but was working his way into the fight. Fry had a great period at the start of the sixth and caught Enzo with several straight rights, until a peach of a short left hook put Fry down for the second time in the fight. He was quickly up, and Maccarinelli found his chin again with two right hands, but Fry is tough as nails and fought back, returning to his corner on wobbly legs after another Maccarinelli shot to the head at the bell.
Fry continued to resist in the seventh until two successive right hands found his chin while on the ropes. The towel came in from Fry’s corner just as Richie Davies was about to stop it, with 1.15 remaining in the round. A good win for Enzo, although his trainer Gary Lockett was frustrated with a performance in which at times, Enzo seemed reluctant to throw.
Elsewhere on the bill, Ellesmere Port super flyweight Paul Butler (14-0) picked up another alphabet strap with a dominant points win over Mexican Ruben Montoya (21-2-1). Judges scored 120-108, 120-109 and 118-110 for Butler, who can maybe looks towards a world title fight soon at super fly, but might find things more lucrative in the weight divisions above.
Liverpudlian Joe Selkirk (12-0) faced Zoltan Sera (12-1), an unbeaten Hungarian who started his pro career just six months ago and has quickly notched up his unbeaten slate in Hungary and Slovakia.
Zera (10st 13lbs 8oz) took the fight at four days notice, but it was instantly apparent that he was well out of his depth against Selkirk, who many consider to be one of the best prospects in a red hot region. Zera bobbed forwards and was caught with the first shots Selkirk threw, suffering a cut below his right eye. Selkirk dealt with his lunging attempts to attack comfortably enough, and ended things a 2.25 of the third with a left hook to the body.
Ellemere Port’s Matty Fagan (4-0) had plenty of support at the Echo Arena to see him outpoint Dewsbury based Syrian Youssef Al Hamidi (12-62-3) over six rounds. Al Hamidi was durable throughout, as usual, and earned a share of the fourth. Referee Mark Wright scored 60-55 for Fagan.
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