Mathews wins WBA interim title on points

Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Derry Mathews has won the interim WBA lightweight title after being handed a unanimous points decision over Tony Luis in Liverpool.

Mathews saw Richar Abril twice pull out of a fight due to illness to be striped of the belt and just this week replacement Ismael Barroso was forced to pull out after failing to obtain a visa.

Luis was drafted in at the last minute and while the Canadian will have won a lot of fans with his relentless style, he did not win over the judges and Mathews was handed a 114-112, 114-112, 115-112 decision.

"It was a hell of a fight. He's a warrior. He's a tough, tough man," Mathews told BoxNation after the bout. "I'm interim champion of the world.

"I said from day one if I won a world title, I'd give Anthony Crolla the first shot."

Luis added: "I think I could have done more. Derry did what he had to do. Tonight he boxed a good fight."

Mathews made the brighter start and kept Luis contained behind the jab while landing a decent uppercut at the end of the second round.

The Liverpudlian continued to still largely control the fight but Luis showed plenty of aggression himself, coming forward and making life difficult for Mathews, landing a good uppercut of his own at the end of the sixth.

Luis' pressure and all-action style was beginning to tell on Mathews, who was more and more often going to the ropes and both men were deducted a point in the eighth, Mathews for a low blow and Luis for use of the head.

Luis was in the ascendency in the closing rounds and looked to be pulling some points back on the cards but it was not enough as Mathews was handed a tight decision after a thrilling encounter.