Liam ‘Beefy’ Smith (30-3-1, 17 KOs) overcame a bad start to come roaring back to defeat Anthony Fowler (15-2, 12 KOs) by an eighth round knockout on Saturday night to claim the WBA International junior middleweight title at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, England.
With Fowler looked completely gassed in the 8th round, Smith nailed him with a massive right hand to the head and then followed it with a picture-perfect left hook that put him down.
Fowler was clearly too hurt to continue and the fight was then halted. The time of the stoppage came at 2:04 of the eighth. The victory showed that ‘Beefy’ Smith still has a lot left in the tank after 13 years as a pro.
Whether Smith has enough left to rip the WBO 154-lb title from champion Brian Castano is another thing.
Earlier in the fight, Smith landed a crushing right hand to the head of Fowler that folded him like an accordion, sending him down on the canvas.
Surprisingly, Smith opted not to go for the finish because Fowler looked like he was out of it after he got back up. Smith seemed to make the decision to keep Fowler around to toy with him the way a cat would with its prey.
Fowler looked exhausted and hurt at the end of the fifth round. One could tell from watching Fowler trudge back to his corner that he wasn’t going to make it long before he was knocked out. He didn’t look like he was going to get his second wind, and Smith wasn’t able to let him gather his bearings.
Smith was in trouble early in the fight in getting nailed by some big right hands from the younger, bigger, and stronger Fowler in the first round.
This was a good bounce-back victory for Smith, who had lost his previous fight to Magomed Kurbanov last May in Russia. That was a close affair but Smith didn’t get the nod from the judges.
Undefeated young gun Troy Williamson (17-0-1, 13 KOs) wore down British junior middleweight champion Ted Cheeseman (17-3-1, 10 KOs) in stopping him in the 10th round. Williamson connected with a nice left hook to the head of Cheeseman to get the knockout.
This fight was a pure war from start to finish with both guys landing huge shots. Cheeseman seemed to wilt in the championship rounds from the pressure that Williamson was putting on him.
In a surprising result, Jamie Mitchell (7-0-2, 4 KOs) beat Shannon Courtenay (7-3, 3 KOs) by a 10 round majority decision to win the vacant WBA female bantamweight title. The scores were 97-93, 96-94, and 95-95.
Courtenay had lost her title last Friday when she came in a couple of pounds over the limit at the weigh-in. Ultimately, it didn’t matter because, with the way she fought tonight, she would have lost her title regardless.