Smith vs Eggington: Scott Fitzgerald drops Anthony Fowler in the final round to secure split decision win
By Peter Gilbert
Last Updated: 31/03/19 2:17am
Scott Fitzgerald secured a thrilling victory over bitter rival Anthony Fowler to settle their grudge match at Liverpool's M&S Bank Arena, on Saturday night.
Fitzgerald survived a torrid ninth round before dropping Fowler in the final round to claim a split decision and hand the home favourite his first defeat of his professional career.
The first round saw the former Team GB team-mates battling for the centre of the ring, working behind their jabs and trading body shots.
Fowler found his range with his left in the second but the Preston man stood firm during another close round.
Fitzgerald began to find his way into the fight during the third and began to connect with his body shots before taking the fourth round by landing two powerful right-hand counters.
Round five started at a slower pace as the pair caught their breath before Fowler connected with a fast combination but picked up a cut above his left eye.
Fitzgerald worked the body in the sixth, backing up his man up, Fowler responded but his opponent shrugged off his shots.
Fowler, who had never previously fought beyond six rounds, was caught by a big right 15 seconds from the end of the seventh.
Fitzgerald appeared to be throwing the sharper and more punches in the eighth but he was reprimanded by the referee for using his head.
A superb uppercut rocked Fitzgerald in the ninth round, Fowler swarmed forward pushing for a stoppage but the 27-year-old stayed on his feet before responding with a right hand and his own uppercut.
Fitzgerald dropped Fowler after catching him with three hooks in the 10th round, goading his rival until the final bell before claiming victory via a 95-94, 95-94, 94-96.