Cardle retains title at last gasp

Cardle - controversial win
Cardle - controversial win
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Lytham boxer Scott Cardle retained his British lightweight title with a final round stoppage of Sean ‘Masher’ Dodd in a thrilling, punishing clash at the Echo Arena in Liverpool amid a storm of controversy

Cardle was defending the title for the first time and his title was on the line when he unleashed a brutal barrage on the Birkenhead man, with referee Terry O’Connor stepping in with a minute left in the fight.

The decision brought a storm of boos from Dodd's supporters in the vast arena.

Dodd enjoyed prolonged periods of success throughout to the joy of his vociferous fans, and looked to have the champion in trouble in the tenth round, but Cardle man weathered the storm and coped with some bad cuts to his face and head to fire his fight-winning salvo at the death – but was the first to admit that Dodd was the better man on the night.

“I've been tested before in the pros but I have never been tested like this,” said Cardle. “I really had to grit my teeth at times in that fight. For me, I was behind in every round so the only way was to knock him out. He is a warrior and he really dug deep. I will give him a re-match, he deserves it.

“My support has been superb,” said Dodd. “The ref is doing his job and I have no say in that. We are paid to entertain and I hope everybody who bought a ticket enjoyed the fight.”

“I felt like the referee stopped it too early,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “It was a great fight. Sean Dodd beat Gary Buckland and did a great job against Scotty Cardle, we have to see this fight again 100 per cent.”