Mathews defeats Crolla

By Michael Collins: Making his second defense of his British lightweight title, Anthony Crolla (23-3, 9 KO's) was stopped in the 6th round in a huge upset by Derry Mathews (30-6-1, 16 KO's) on Saturday night at the Oldham Sports Centre in Oldham, England. The fight was halted prematurely, however, by referee John Keane at 2:57. Crolla, 25, had been hurt by a hard hand from Mathews and was taking punishment when Keane stepped in to stop the fight with only three seconds left in the round.

Crolla looked fine like he was in good shape to make it out of the round. It just looked like the referee pulled the trigger too soon in the fight. But with that said, Crolla was going to have problems in the remaining rounds of the fight because he was eating right uppercuts at an alarming rate and showing no ability to move his head or block the uppercuts. Crolla was doing a fine job of blocking Mathews' jabs and hooks, but he had no clue how to block the uppercuts that were coming at him one after another.

Crolla looked good in the first two rounds fighting behind a stiff jab that kept snapping Mathews' head back upon impact. Mathews fought as he usually does by unloading everything but the kitchen sink, but Crolla did a great job of blocking almost everything Mathews threw with his tight guard. However, Mathews finally found a way through Crolla's guard in the 3rd when he switched to throwing uppercuts and was able to put him down with a right uppercut to the head in the early part of the round. Crolla had to endure a flurry of shots from Mathews after the knockdown but he blocked most of it apart from a few hard right hands that crept through his guard. Crolla didn't make things easier on himself by electing to slug with Mathews rather than clinching or moving away from him.

In the 4th round, Crolla suffered a bad cut above his left eye. Although he won the round by jabbing Mathews continuously, the cut was a definite problem for Crolla due to the blood dripping into his left eye.

Crolla fought well in the first part of the 5th when he was jabbing Mathews and flurrying on him. However, Mathews took over in the last part of the round by nailing Crolla with big right uppercuts that snapped his head back.

Crolla was having a great round in the 6th, pounding Mathews with combinations and jabs. It looked like he had him hurt with a some nice shots. However, Mathews turned things around by landing a big left hand that staggered Crolla. Mathews then four more right hands to the head at which point referee John Keane stepped in and halted the fight.

Overall, terrible stoppage. It's too bad the referee didn't let the fight continue because this gave Mathews a controversial win and took Crolla's title from him. Crolla has to work on his defense for the rematch, if there is one. He's going to be in big trouble if he can't block Mathews' right uppercuts, because Mathews will no doubt be looking to throw a lot more the second time around knowing that Crolla can't stop these kinds of punches. Mathews really exposed Crolla in this fight. If Mathews could do this it's scary to think of what a world class contender would have done to him.

Article posted on 22.04.2012

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