Liverpool’s Liam Smith overcame his domestic rival, Liam Williams, in their super welterweight showdown at the Manchester Arena.
Williams was pulled from the fight just before the start of the tenth round by his trainer Gary Lockett.
Lockett made the decision after Williams suffered a controversial cut during the ninth round.
It is not clear whether the cut came from a clash of heads or was inflicted from a punch before the clash.
What seemed clear, however, is the lead Williams built over Smith during the bout. However, at the time of the stoppage all three judges scorecards gave Williams a one point lead.
Williams got the better of Smith throughout the majority of the fight controlling the tempo from mid to long range and preventing Smith from working on the inside.
Smith continued, in vain, to find a way inside from the behind his high guard, but the only reward he received was a cut above his right eye.
As we reached the middle stage of the fight, Williams tempo began to slow, but he still looked in control.
By the ninth, Williams looked gassed, and Smith finally found some success – inflicting a nasty cut on Williams.
After the contest, Lockett insisted there was no other choice than to pull Williams from the fight.
“He said he couldn’t see. I can’t let him fight with that,” Lockett said. “It was only going to get worse. He couldn’t see out of it.”
While Smith indicated that he is keen to secure a world title again, he says he is open to the idea of a rematch with Williams.
“I am the most genuine fighter you’ll come across,” Smith said. “If Frank [Warren] offers the money I would do that [fight with Williams] again.”