M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool – In a battle of undefeated former stablemates for the vacant WBA International super welterweight title, Olympian Anthony Fowler (9-1, 8 KOs) had to get off the floor and survive a tough final round, but found himself on the losing end of a ten round split decision to Scott Fitzgerald (13-0, 9 KOs), who pulled off a huge upset.
The scores were 96-94 for Fowler, 95-94 for Fitzgerald, and 95-94 for Fitzgerald.
Coming in, Fowler stopped his last four opponents.
And Fitzgerald put away two of his last three opponents in 2018 by knockout.
The action was pretty close and tight in the first two rounds, with both boxing at the best of their abilities. Fowler was really putting his punches together well in the third round.
They were trading hard body shots in the fourth round. Fowler was being sharp with his jab, while Fitzgerald was looking for the body. During the sixth, Fitzgerald began to rally and make the fight close.
Fowler saw the seventh round for the first time, as he was pressing forward and Fitzgerald was doing well with selected punches. Fitzgerald began to bait Fowler to come in and fight.
The contest was still very close as they entered the eight. Both had success, with Fowler working the jab and going to the body, but Fitzgerald seemed to connect with crisper shots. Fowler was given a very firm warning for a low blow.
In the ninth, Fitzgerald was badly rocked by an uppercut. Then Fowler jumped on him with a lot of big shots with both hands. It appeared the end was near, but Fitzgerald was able to weather the storm and tried to fight back before getting clipped hard again. But Fitzgerald again recovered and began to land some good shots on Fowler.
At the start of the tenth and final round, Fitzgerald came out pressing the fight. Fitzgerald rocked Fowler with big shots and dropped him down. Fowler beat the count, but he was very hurt and was doing his best to hold and survive. For whatever reason, Fitzgerald began to coast in the closing seconds as if he felt he had the fight won.
Also on the card, 2012 Olympian Natasha Jonas (7-1, 5 KOs), who is trained by Joe Gallagher, won a six round unanimous decision over Feriche Mashauri (7-3, 2 KOs).