Anthony Crolla won local bragging rights by defeating Stephen
Foster Jnr at the Phones 4u Arena in Manchester tonight.
The Mancunian, nicknamed "Million Dollar", was originally
scheduled to face British lightweight champion Martin Gethin until
the Walsall man withdrew.
Foster Jnr, the former European titlist at super-featherweight,
took the fight on less than a week's notice and made a good account
of himself until he retired on his stool due to injury at the end
of the sixth.
Crolla took control of the first two rounds with smart boxing,
but Foster proved he wasn't there to make up the numbers by winning
the third session thanks to well thought out attacks.
However, Crolla regained the initiative at the end of the fourth
and hurt the Salford man with heavy hooks to the body in the
Just as it appeared that Crolla's punchers were having an
effect, Foster Jnr came flying back and connected with a solid
right hand to the jaw.
But, despite a spirited beginning to the sixth, Foster Jnr was
unable to keep up the pace and was ultimately pulled out at the end
of the round.
The victory means Crolla keeps hold of his WBO inter-continental
lightweight title and remains on course for a clash with Ricky
Burns at some stage in 2014.
Ireland's Andy Lee made short work of Hungarian import Ferenc
Hafner. The Adam Booth-trained middleweight dropped the visitor
once in the first and twice in the second before referee Mark Lyson
waved it off.