Askin wins right to box for the British title
St Annes boxer Matty Askin will get a second chance to box for the British cruiserweight title in the New Year.
And he fully deserved it after beating Belfast rival Tommy McCarthy in a final eliminator at the Victoria Warehouse in Manchester.
Askin will box Craig Kennedy for the vacant belt some in the early part of 2017.
All the judges voted in favour of Askin, who used his skill and ring-craft to beat a talented opponent but still a comparative novice in only his 10th fight, a difference in class which was readily for large parts of this fight.
Judge John Keane scored it 116-111, Victor Loughlin the same and Phil Edwards 117-110. It signalled the first loss of McCarthy's career.
The explosive part of the action came in round four when Askin had his man down for a count of eight on two occasions, the second knockdown being right on the bell.
It looked as though McCarthy would struggle to survive in round five, but he turned the action on its head not only by surviving but jumping on Askin.
The opening round was so quiet and stilted that one ringside wag said that both boxers were trying to out-do each other in the manikin challenge.
Referee Terry O'Connor had to step in to tell both fighters to get busy and stop being so cagey
But the fight began to take a hold and McCarthy struggled to get near Askin early on as he seemed unsettled and not knowing how to deal with his opponent moving nimbly around the ring.
Askin, announced as being from Blackpool but domiciled in St Annes, let rip in round four.
First he floored McCarthy with an over-arm right, which had McCarhty down for an eight count - the Belfast seemed reasonably okay as he winked to his corner to indicate that his head was clear.
Whereupon, Askin steamed in with a variety of blows that had him down again. The count of eight was completed after the bell.
McCarthy tagged Askin with his best punch of the fight in round five, a hurtful left hook.
By halfway Askin was clearly ahead.
Some of the ensuing rounds were reasonably close, but Askin was still very much the boss until the ninth which McCarthy won to show that he should still be taken seriously.
By the closing two rounds it was clear that McCarthy needed a knockout to have any chance, but no such fistic clincher was forthcoming and Askin saw it out well.
He said afterwards: "I showed a different side of me, that I can box clever - I went in there and schooled him.
"I didn't use my right hand much after I hurt it probably with the punch I put him down with in round four.
"The bell saved him at the end of round four - he didn't know where he was.
"I thought I showed a lot of maturity and I didn't see the point of trading with him. McCarthy had only nine fights before this and he will come again.
"I owe a lot to my trainers Mick and Dave Jennings and now that I have earned the right to meet Kennedy I have to take the chance with both hands."
The match-up with Kennedy will be Askin's second attempt at the Lonsdale Belt having lost previously on points to the now retired Ovill Mckenzie.