Derry Mathews once again proved you cant keep a good man down by becoming British lightweight champion for a second time, outpointing Martin Gethin at the Olympia in his home city of Liverpool on Saturday night to clinch another memorable victory.
Mathews, 30, took the fight via a split decision after a close battle between two of the games most honest pros. The judges Michael Alexander gave Mathews 117-113 and Dave Parris gave him the win with a score of 116-112. While the official Phil Edwards awarded the fight to Gethin 115-114.
Derry was coming off a defeat against Stephen Ormond and his future was on the line. Another loss on the bounce would have had him seriously contemplating his retirement from the sport but against the odds he proved again when you write off Derry Mathews, he proves you wrong! Derry first won the Lonsdale belt in 2012 by defeating Manchester’s Anthony Crolla before losing it to Gavin Rees three months later.
Gethin, 30, was having his first contest after being out for a year since the world title eliminator defeat to Ammeth Diaz and he wasnt ready to let go of his British title easily and did everything he could to not, but Mathews had that little bit more know how and will to win in front of his home supporters.
Mathews suffered a badly damaged nose in the second round and was stunned by Gethin on numerous occasions but he refused to bow and turned in a memorable performance to keep the ‘Dirty’ Derry show on the road.
“If I had been beaten then my career was over,” Mathews said after the fight.
“I spoke to those close to me and I’d told them that if I lost to Gethin then that was it.
“I was retiring in there. But I couldn’t let that happen.
“I got hit with a really good body shot at one point but I thought ‘you know what? I’m digging in here’.
“I’ve come out British champion and live to fight another day. He was stronger than I thought he would be but on Saturday night I proved that I am a 12-round fighter. When I heard ‘split decision’ I was shocked but I won the fight and don’t care how I did it. I’m a two-time British champion.”
Mathews must now defend his British title against Manchester’s unbeaten Terry Flanagan on the undercard of Tyson Fury vs Dereck Chisora II at the Manchester Arena on July 26th.
On the undercard
Terry Flanagan stopped Yordan Vasilev TKO 2
Chris Eubank Jr beat Robert Swierzbinski TKO 7
Jack Catterall outpointed Krzysztof Szot over 8 rounds
Thomas Stalker outpointed Ryan Hardy 80-73
Craig Evans outpointed Dame Seck over 8 rounds
Matty Fagan outpointed Ismail Anwar over 6 rounds
Tommy Langford beat Alistair Warren TD 5
Adrian Gonzales outpointed Andy Harris over 6 rounds
Nathan Brough outpointed Mark McKay 79-74
Ciaran McVarnock outpointed Harvey Hemsley ovber 4 rounds
Kevin Hodkinson (debut) outpointed Jack Heath 40-37
Macauley McGowan (debut) outpointed Jason Nesbitt over 6 rounds