Askin retains title in explosive style (with video)
Matty Askin retained his English cruiserweight title in uncompromising style, stopping previously unbeaten Simon Barclay inside two rounds and then had a message for the rest of the fighters in the division.
In the wake of his quick-fire victory at the Liverpool Echo Arena, Askin proclaimed: "I am capable of doing what I did to Barclay to any fighter in Britain and I know that for a fact."
His boast was backed up trainer Michael Jennings, who insisted: "Matty is world class."
Askin and Barclay didn't get into the ring until after midnight, by which time the live tv cameras had been switched off, but the St Annes-based fighter ensured it was an early night when it came down to the boxing business.
The contest came to an end after one minute and 18 seconds of round two.
Barclay, from Corby, had a badly cut left eye, which Fleetwood referee Steve Gray brought to the attention of the ringside doctor.
It looked a mess and, sure enough, Barclay, who had gone into the ring with a record of eight wins out of eight, suffered his first professional reverse and it was as comprehensive as they come.
Askin had Barclay down for a count of eight in the first session, the challenger toppled with a concussive right.
Askin did get caught with a couple himself in round two, admitting later that he had got over-excited as he sensed the kill, but it was only by way of token resistance from Barclay, who was comprehensively out-muscled.
Not surprisingly, Askin was on a high afterwards and is targeting bigger titles, namely the Commonwealth belt.
He said: "It was a matter of me doing it on the big stage - it has clicked and I am finally doing it.
"I am ready for the top boys now.
"I was never going to take a backward step against Barclay,
"On Saturday night I was on my game - the top game.
"It was my best performance so far.
"Now it is time to step on the gas.
"Hopefully, I will fight for the Commonwealth title on May 13, hopefully in Bolton.
"I have come out of the fight injury free and it is straight back into the gym."
Asking continued:"Barclay is a good kid - he will beat a lot of lads.
"You have to understand that Barclay is a two-times ABA champion - he was unbeaten and hungry to win the English belt.
"He wasn't there to make the numbers up - he came in to get the title and instead, I put it on him.
"I knew there was nothing Barclay could do to stop me from taking this belt back to Blackpool - there is still more to come.
"I did get a bit gung-ho in the second round - I saw his eye was bleeding, jumped on him, took a lot more risks and got caught a bit - I was too hot-headed.
Asked about the knockdown, Askin said:"It was a shot we had been working on - double jab, right hand over the top and going for the body.
"Later I caught him with a right hand and the cut opened up straightaway and the blood was going in his eyes.
"I caught him with an uppercut at the end of the first round and that had him out on his feet as well."
Askin said that there was so much at stake, and any slip-up would have signalled the end of his career.
He made the stark admission: "If I hadn't put on a performance like I did, it would have been call-it-a-day-time, as simple as that."
Askin's coach Michael Jennings said: "I am made up, but I was not surprised.
"I knew that he was capable of doing something like that.
"He has been sparring in Denmark with Micki Nielsen, who is 24-0 and probably holding his own, if not turning him over.
"I know Matty is capable of fighting at that level and it is important that he has regular fights and not boxing for six months or something like that.
"People might think I am daft, but Matty is world class, he really is."
Askin has already had one shot at the British and Commonwelath titles, losing to Ovill McKenzie on points.
But if the duo ever met again, the Askin camp are sure the outcome would be different,
Jennings said: "If he was to box Ovill McKenizie again, I would put my money on Matty every day of the week.
"He did what we asked of him on Saturday night - he took the centre of the ring and got his jab working.
"I would have liked it to have gone longer than two rounds to show people the skills that he has."
McKenzie is expected to give up the British and Commonwealth belts to pursue his ambitions at European championship level, opening the door for Askin to step up and have another crack at a bigger belt