Liam Smith floored Anthony Fowler twice as he ruthlessly halted his Liverpudlian opponent in the eighth round to keep his world title hopes alive.
Smith, a former WBO super-welterweight champion, outclassed Fowler, who came from the canvas in the fifth round but was waived off by referee Howard Foster after being downed again at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool.
After receiving a cut over his left eye in the opening round, Fowler made a brisk start, and Smith smirked defiantly.
But Liam Smith retaliated in the fifth round with a huge right hand that dropped Fowler to the canvas, and the 30-year-old limped through the rest of the round.
Fowler managed to hold his ground in the sixth round, landing a solid left hook, but Smith signalled the end with a left hand that sent his British opponent crumpling to the floor in the eighth.
Earlier in the evening, Troy Williamson knocked out Ted Cheeseman in the 10th round to become the new British super-welterweight title.
Cheeseman was rocked during a fierce fight in the sixth round, but he responded with a devastating combination that injured Williamson.
With neither boxer refusing to give ground, Williamson finally landed a knockout hit, a right uppercut that landed on Cheeseman’s back, causing referee Michael Alexander to call the bout a draw.
Shannon Courtenay has suffered another setback when she was defeated by Jamie Mitchell on a majority decision after losing her WBA bantamweight title on the scales.
Courtenay, who failed to make the limit at the weigh-in on Friday, was outworked by the American challenger, who won the WBA title with scores of 96-94 and 97-93, with the third judge scoring it a draw.
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