Scott Cardle retains British lightweight title after stopping Sean Dodd in final round

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Scott Cardle says he'll be willing to a rematch with Sean Dodd a after their fight was stopped in the final round

Scott Cardle held on to his British lightweight belt after an almighty scare, stopping Sean Dodd in the final round.

The champion (19-0-KO6) was behind on the judges' cards having been in trouble two rounds earlier, only to produce a fight-saving onslaught a minute from the end of his first defence.

A big left, than two rights sent Dodd (10-2-KO2) to the floor and although he was back up immediately, referee Terry O'Connor stepped in and called the bout to a halt and had sections of a partisan Liverpool crowd booing.

Even promoter Eddie Hearn suggested the stoppage came too soon and he and Cardle both called for a rematch. Dodd was proud of his performance, but refused to blame the referee for the fight's outcome.

It was a tough decision but both fighters were cut having brawled from start to finish in a gruelling bout. Cardle was back in the ring having been forced to pull out of his scheduled defence against Gary Buckland in September, due to injury.

Dodd was called in for a hastily-arranged eliminatorelimniator having come through that, it was another night packed with action from the opening bell. Both defences and their exchanges were more than open, with a clash of heads setting the tone and forcing the champion's right eye to swell up.

Sean Dodd (left) and Scott Cardle (right)
Image: Scott Cardle(left) and Sean Dodd (right) were involved in a cracking lightweight scrap

Cardle kept coming forward with the left leading the way, but Dodd seemed happy to take them and more importantly, land regular right counter shots.

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But after after what appeared to be an over-anxious start, the champion settled into his groove and kept his left in control and by the third, it seemed his first defence was going to bring the best out of him, especially right at the end when a crisp left hook had Dodd in trouble.

It was the constant clashes of heads that seemed to spur Dodd on, with Cardle cut over both eyes and bleeding from the nose by the end of a fourth round that saw plenty of exchanges.

By the start of the sixth, referee Terry O'Connor took a look at the bloodied champion's condition and even though he was happy to let proceedings continue, there was soon another cut, this time on the back of Cardle's head.

Scott Cardle and Sean Dodd (r)
Image: Sean Dodd caught Scott Cardle on the counter throughout 12 tough rounds

But Cardle kept coming in on the offensive and finally responded with a sharp left. Yet again, he seemed content to take a couple of blows so long as he could land a blow of his own in a fight that was a fight fans' dream but a cornerman's nightmare!

Cardle boxed at the same tempo but naturally, around the ninth round both seemed to be feeling the pace. But the 10th was arguably the best round of the lot, with Dodd somehow finding an extra level, pinning Cardle on the ropes, unleashing a non-stop onslaught, the left now leading, the right again hitting home, with only the finishing punch missing.

Experience saw Cardle stay up and then with neither of them sure they were ahead, they both went for it in the closing round, with Dodd this time the one who was in trouble, a barrage of shots behind the left had him stumbling back to the bottom rope, only for the man in the middle to step in as soon as he was back up.

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