Anthony Crolla has closed the curtain on a fruitful career with a somewhat questionable majority-decision victory over Frank Urquiaga at the Manchester Arena.
It was a bittersweet farewell for the Mancunian, as a lively Urquiaga – clearly in no mood to follow the script – applied pressure from the outset and enjoyed success with combinations.
The former WBA lightweight champion had his moments, but was mostly appearing to be outhustled by his opponent, as fans in the Manchester Arena observed proceedings nervously.
Urquiaga seemed to be the stronger and quicker fighter throughout, and was certainly unfortunate to not be declared the winner after ten rounds.
However, the prevailing mood was one of appreciation for ‘Million-Dollar’, a fan favourite and consummate professional who has etched his name into Manchester’s rich boxing tapestry and will go down as someone who was always willing to fight the best.
Katie Taylor also successfully captured the WBO light-welterweight title with a scintillating display, outpointing the champion Christina Linardatou after ten rounds of action.
The Dominican-born champion – who is currently based in Greece – started the bout in spirited fashion, ploughing forward on the front foot and attempting to rough the favourite up with power punching.
However, Taylor quickly regained her composure in the subsequent rounds, picking off the champion with precise single shots as the Bray native began to pull away somewhat in the middle rounds.
Indeed, her superior skillset, poise and balance paid dividends as Linardatou was consistently nailed with accurate counter punches on the way in, while Taylor began to assert her authority in the exchanges and the champion appeared increasingly ragged.
However, Linardatou would prove to be a stubborn customer and rallied hard, finishing strongly in the final two rounds to lose narrowly albeit unanimously on all three scorecards.
Felix Cash also secured an important eighth-round stoppage win over Jack Cullen, successfully retaining his Commonwealth title in the process, while Doncaster’s IBO lightweight champion Terri Harper also registered a thoroughly convincing decision triumph over Viviane Obenauf.
Also on the undercard was heavyweight contender Martin Bakole, who moves to 15-1 after putting on a destructive performance to stop Rodney Hernandez in the second round.
Article by: Navi Singh
Follow Navi on Twitter at: @DarkMan________