Hackney’s own Ohara Davies hinted at greatness as he retained his WBC Silver title, ending Derry Mathews’ prolific 52-fight career on Saturday night (March 4) in London.
Mathews, 33, announced his retirement after an emotional end to his career, saying of Davies: “He’s very good, I felt the power of him in the first round. The better man won on the night.
“I’ve beat good champions, I’ve always fought the best and never ducked anyone. I know it’s the end, but it’s one of those things.”
Fighting on the undercard of the explosive Haye-Bellew fight, the super-lightweight champion was surprisingly humble in victory after being involved in heavy trash-talk both in person and on social media.
During the post-fight interview, Davies, 25, said: “I did a lot of trash talk to build the fight up. I’ve got nothing against Derry Mathews.
“I look up to him. He’s been boxing for years and years and years. He’s won titles that I can only dream of getting the chance to win.
“I respect him a lot and hope there’s no bad feelings with him towards me because I have none towards him.”
Mathews went down towards the end of the third round, after a heavy barrage of shots to the head hit home. He took a knee in the corner and went down once more before the fight was stopped in the last 10 seconds of the round.
Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn hinted at a step up in class for Davies in 2017, saying: “He’s going to be in the top five or six in two or three governing bodies. He’s going to be a nightmare for anyone to fight.
“I want to push him towards world championship boxing in 2017. He’s ready to fight anyone. This kid’s got everything, he’s going to be a massive star.”