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27th May 2018

Darren Till gives Liverpool the happy ending it needed this weekend

Liverpool needed that

Darragh Murphy

Liverpool needed that.

This weekend could have been a truly miserable one for sports fans in Liverpool.

Saturday night saw the Reds come up short in the Champions League final and the following night, hometown favourite Molly McCann was choked unconscious in her UFC debut.

It was left to Darren Till to salvage some joy on Merseyside and he did just that by claiming a unanimous decision over former welterweight title challenger Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson.

Walking out to ‘Sweet Caroline’, Till brought Liverpool’s Echo Arena to its feet and while he failed to get the knockout he’d promised, he will be thrilled with his performance given the struggles he endured on Saturday, having come in overweight due to a family emergency.

The fight was always going to be the aggressive Muay Thai of Till hunting for the elusive chin of Thompson, a lifelong Karate practitioner.

The first round began with Till pushing the pace while Thompson looked for holes in the offence of his English opponent and that was essentially the story of the contest.

A left hook grazed ‘Wonderboy’ in the opening moments of the second round, when both men had seemingly shaken off any tentativeness.

Thompson gave a telling nod and switched stances at the midway point of the second, when a Till oblique kick clearly did some damage.

From start to finish, Till seemed to love the experience of fighting at home as he laughed at some of the flashier striking of his opponent and smiled his way through several flurries.

Thompson’s counter-striking served him significantly better in the third round as his straight shots found a home but Till’s tenacity would not allow him to take a backwards step.

Till proved what a class act he is by instructing the crowd to stop booing Thompson after an eye-poke and that foul injected a healthy dose of urgency into ‘The Gorilla’ as he poured it on right up to the buzzer in the third round.

Till ate some solid shots in the fourth and even teased a takedown after securing double underhooks but he instead opted to return to his bread and butter in the striking department.

A warm embrace opened up the final round but there was nothing warm about the combination which dropped Thompson two minutes later.

48-47, 49-46, 49-46 was the decision that the judges arrived and it would be hard to argue that Till didn’t deserve it.

The 170lbs division has a new contender, ladies and gents.