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Liam Smith drops Anthony Fowler twice on way to stoppage win in Liverpool

Smith drops Fowler twice on way to stoppage win
© Reuters
Liam Smith prevails in the battle of Liverpool with Anthony Fowler, dropping the younger fighter on the way to an eighth-round stoppage.

Liam Smith overcame an early cut to stop Anthony Fowler in the eighth round of their light-middleweight contest in Liverpool.

The bout between the former world champion and the 2016 Olympian had been billed as the perfect crossroads fight by Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn, and the clash lived up to its billing from the opening bell.

Fowler clearly won the first round, opening up a cut above the left eye of his opponent, and a flurry of strong shots in the third saw him seize the upper hand.

However, Smith rode out the early storm to land a crushing right in the fifth, dropping Fowler to his knees and provide him with the reassurance that he could hurt his younger foe.

The pace dropped during rounds six and seven, and there were signs that Fowler was beginning to gain a second wind as the fight progressed into the eighth.

Any encouragement was short-lived, however, as a combination which was concluded with a left hook sank Fowler to the canvas, the referee waving off the contest as Fowler barely made it back to his feet before the 10-count.

The all-Liverpudlian encounter followed a fight of the year contender between British champion Ted Cheeseman and Troy Williamson, the challenger claiming the belt with a stunning 10th-round stoppage.

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