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Flanagan defeats Mathews by dull decision – results

Derry MathewsBy Scott Gilfoid: In a fairly one-sided fight, WBO lightweight champion Terry Flanagan (30-0, 12 KOs) defeated fringe contender Derry Mathews (38-10-2, 20 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision on Saturday night to retain his WBO 135lb title at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, UK. The final scores were 117-111, 115-112 and 117-110. The scores were decent enough.

Unfortunately, the Flanagan-Mathews fight failed to live up to the hype. It was supposed to be a great contest with a lot of action, but in reality it was two tall fighters standing on the outside throwing a lot of single shots. Flanagan did attempt to rush Mathews repeatedly in the early rounds. Flanagan would run forward while throwing flurries. It was real amateurish stuff from Flanagan, but it had worked against the weak and small opponents he’d been matched against in the past. Mathews had too much size and experience to be blown out by Flanagan’s amateurish moves.

Flanagan, 26, was just too good for Mathews tonight. Flanagan had the perfect opponent for him to keep his title. If this had been someone that actually a good fighter like Felix Verdejo, Flanagan would have likely been easily dethroned by the 22-year-old talent. But in selecting the old 32-year-old lion Mathews, Flanagan had the perfect guy for him to beat.

Flanagan was bum rushing Mathews all night long, and roughing him up with a lot of fouling. In the 8th round, Flanagan lost a point for nailing Mathews with an elbow to the head. Flanagan got away with a lot of holding and hitting in the fight. He would pull Mathews’ head down and nail him with shots while he was bent over. It was pretty crazy how the referee didn’t stop the action and take points off, because Flanagan was really working Mathews over with his holding and hitting technique.

In the 2nd round, Flanagan flipped Mathews onto the canvas in a wrestling move. I’m not sure if Flanagan has a wrestling background, but it was a perfect flip. The referee didn’t lift a finger to penalize Flanagan for his wrestling move. I’m surprised that Mathews wasn’t hurt from throw to the canvas because it looked painful to watch. He hit the canvas hard. I’m still not sure what Flanagan hoped to accomplish with the flip other than perhaps intimidating Mathews with his grapping skills.

If Mathews had better punching power and hand speed, he would have won this fight. The problem is he was too slow, and he didn’t have the strength on his shots. Mathews was landing shots when he would come forward, but they didn’t have enough power to do anything to Flanagan.

This was the first fight I saw of Flanagan where he wasn’t much bigger than his opponents. Usually, Flanagan looks huge compared to his opponents, and that obviously is one of the major reasons why he’s had success. When matched against someone his own size tonight, Flanagan looked anything but intimidating. What Flanagan looked like tonight was mediocre. He didn’t look or fight like a world champion tonight. When I see guys like Verdejo, Rances Barthelemy, Jorge Linares and Yuriorkis Gamboa, they look a lot better than what I saw tonight from Flanagan. I just wonder why Flanagan isn’t facing those type of fighters? We’re seeing too many fights from Flanagan where he’s facing soft opposition instead of the real killers from the lightweight division.

It would be interesting to see Flanagan fight the winner of the Ismael Barroso vs. Anthony Crolla fight. We’d get to see how Flanagan stacks up against some decent competition. Barroso is a nonstop punching machine, and I could see him doing a number on Flanagan.

I see Flanagan lasting as the WBO champion only so long as his promoter keeps him away from the talented lightweights in the division. Once Flanagan has to actually fight someone that has a shred of talent, he’s going to get whipped and his WBO belt will be sailing out of the window. I mean, I hate to call Flanagan a paper champion, but that’s how I see him. I rate many of the contenders in the division as better fighters than him.

Other boxing results on the card:

Southpaw bantamweight Zolani Tete (23-3, 19 KOs) totally dominated the painfully slow and limited Jose Santos Gonzalez (22-4, 12 KOs) in stopping him in the 7th round. Tete hurt Gonzalez and put him on the canvas in the 7th round. Tete then flurried on Gonzalez after he got up, resulting in the referee stopping the fight at 2:37 of the round. Tete is a decent fighter, but not as good as he looked tonight. He was matched against a guy that was hopefully outclassed. When Tete faces quality guys, he loses unfortunately.

Other action on the card:

Paul Butler TKO 7 Sebastian Sanchez
Tommy Langford UD 12 Lewis Taylor
Vijender Singh TKO 3 Alexander Horvath
Ryan Farrag TKO 2 Stefan Slavchev

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