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 fifth.

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.

23/11/2013 21:33:30