Cardle puts on a show to retain title

Cardle - on the offensive
Cardle - on the offensive
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Lytham boxer Scott Cardle produced an outstanding display to retain his British lightweight title in Glasgow.

He was in control for all of the contest against Grimsby’s Kevin Hopper and it came to an end in round six.

A right hook had Hooper toppling and Cardle followed it up with a series of punishing combinations that were so hurtful referee Marcus McDonnell had little option but to step in and save the Grimsby challenger from further needless punishment in the bout at the SSE Hydro.

Early on Cardle made plain his intention to boss Hooper, who sustained a cut to his right eye.

Hooper had looked in trouble in round five when he was tagged with a vicious right to the body.

Cardle, who produced what was arguably a career-best, needs one more successful defence to keep the Lonsdale Belt outright.

It was just the sort of victory that the 27-year-old Cardle needed. He had had two hard defences against Sean ‘Masher’ Dodd, in the second of which many ringside observers felt he was lucky to get away with a draw. However, he certainly made a statement against Hooper, a game challenger, who soon found himself on the back foot in this one-sided affair and was never a realistic rival.

Cardle, the shorter man, showed superior head movement and footwork throughout and Hooper struggled to get near his man.

Indeed, a strong case could be made for the Lytham boxer, still undefeated as a professional, taking every round.

Cardle put Hooper on the back foot right from the start of the scheduled 12-rounder.

The only slight success that Cooper had was in round four when he tagged Cardle with an effective combination.

There was a farcial situation at the end of round two when both boxers got into a tangle near the ropes and both slipped to the canvas. Cardle, who had cut in fights previously, did have a nose-bleed at one point, but it proved to be no problem.

While Cardle relied on his pure boxing skills for much of the fight, he turned into the raw aggressor in the fateful rounds five and six.

Sensing that Hooper was very much there for the taking, the champion hurt his man with a right to the solar plexus region.

It hit home forcibly and had the challenger hanging on grimly. He managed to recover, but it only served to delay the inevitable.

The end came after one minute and 53 seconds of the sixth round, with Cardle well ahead on points.