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Small vs McDonagh result and undercard


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Small wins ugly in Wigan

Brave McDonagh edged out in narrow points loss


Anthony Small retained his British and Commonwealth light-middleweight title with an uninspiring points victory over Thomas McDonagh.


The 28-year-old had been calling out European champion Ryan Rhodes on the eve of his first defence but he did little to advance his claims to step up a level at the Robin Park Centre in Wigan.


Londoner Small entered the ring clearly revelling in his status as the 'away' fighter, donning a Tottenham Hotspur shirt following the Premier League side's recent 9-1 drubbing of Wigan.


However, the champion failed to win over the crowd or the judges by dancing around the ring out of range, apparently enjoying himself at everyone else's expense.


He showed little ringcraft against the limited yet plucky McDonagh throwing wild, single shots that missed more often than not, while showing what he was capable of with more application with successful left-hand leads.



McDonagh was only able to counter as his opponent darted in and out of range, mostly too quickly for the challenger to respond in time, although solid combinations earned the big underdog a share of the early rounds.


By halfway McDonagh led by dint of retaining the centre of the ring while making the champion, whose timing was seriously awry, continue to miss.


Small came out in the sixth with a more orthodox approach in front of his opponent, the first time he commanded the centre of the ring.


However, it did not mean he was any more successful and a solid left from McDonagh in the seventh reminded the champion who was in charge.


The Londoner's smile had been wiped from his face entering the last quarter of the fight and his ungainly lunges cut little ice as McDonagh kept safely out of harm's way.


But with three rounds to go McDonagh appeared to flag, and the pair were warned for holding by the referee, who was busier than the pair throughout.




McDonagh looked tired in the penultimate session and provided an easier target for Small, who landed with a number of good shots as he realised his titles were on the line.


The challenger was intent to hold in the final three minutes but for all Small's bluster, he failed to land much of note although his workrate was enough to catch the eye of the judges who, who eventually gave him the win 115-114 twice and 116-113.


" I knew I was going to win the fight, I thought I won the fight hands down," Small told Sky Sports. "He was in it to hold on.


"I was a spoiler with a good chin, I'll give him that, but I don't know what the referee was playing at, allowing him to hold on.


"At the end of the day my punches were hurting him whereas his were just 'pitter-patter'.


"Like I said I won the fight hands down."


On the undercard, Michael Brodie's comeback after four years out of the ring proved short-lived after the 35-year-old was knocked out in the third round by Anthony Crolla.


In his second fight since deciding to return to the ring, the three-time world title contender showed he still had the desire but after so many tough fights against the likes of Injin Chi and Scott Harrison, his punch resistance is no longer there.


Crolla rocked the Mancunian back with a clean left and a barrage of shots had Brodie looking shaky on the ropes.


It was only a matter of time before the veteran went and another clean combination saw Brodie crumple to the canvas, and although he beat the count the referee deemed him too groggy to continue.




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