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Page last updated at 23:26 GMT, Friday, 12 March 2010

Paul Smith defeats Tony Dodson to retain British title

Tony Dodson (left) and Paul Smith
Paul Smith was defending his British title for the first time

Paul Smith defeated his local rival Tony Dodson on points to retain his British super-middleweight title after a bloody battle in Liverpool.

Smith suffered two cuts as the pair clashed heads early on and seemed dazed as Dodson landed some heavy blows.

But despite blood gushing from his wounds, Smith dominated as the fight wore on and out-boxed Dodson.

Former champion Dodson produced a late flurry but all three judges scored the fight in Smith's favour.

Smith was defending his title for the first time, while Dodson was attempting to regain the the belt he won in 2003 but was forced to relinquish because of a string of injuries.

"I feel like one of those patchwork blankets after all the stitches I've just had," Smith told BBC Radio Merseyside in the aftermath of receiving stitches around both eyes and on the top of his head.

"The performance wasn't too bad considering the big cut I got in the first round.

"I'm more happy with that performance than I am with most because mentally I've stayed switched on.

"Most kids would have spewed it early on, and I know three fights ago maybe my head would have gone down but this time it never."

Smith admitted the severe cut he sustained in the first-round completely changed his gameplan for the fight.

"I was going to go for him and see what he had because I knew I had more than him but when I got cut I wanted to stand off.

"I feel the way he (Dodson) lunges in I had more chance of catching him but I think my heart showed in the end."

During the pre-fight build up Smith's promoter Frank Warren had dangled the carrot of possible European or World Title fights for Paul should he beat Tony Dodson.

Smith says he is keen to continue being involved in big fights: "I'm getting into good form now.

"I'm winning titles, I'm defending the title and I want to win it outright and I'd like another defence straight away and I'd like to fight Brian Magee for his European Title."

Dodson, who is a former British champion and has failed in three subsequent attempts to regain the Lonsdale Belt, is now considering his future in the sport.

On the fight with Smith itself, Dodson feels he did not work hard enough to take victory.

"I wasn't doing any work. He was forcing the fight. He's the champion and I should have switched on and thought 'with him being champion you've got to take it from him'," said Dodson.

"I've always been at the top level for all the years I've been fighting and maybe it's time for a career change."

Earlier on the bill, Kell Brook stopped Poland's Krzysztof Bienias in the sixth round to win the World Boxing Organisation intercontinental welterweight title.

The fight doubled up as a WBO title eliminator and Brook is now the mandatory challenger to Filipino star Manny Pacquiao, who defends his belt in Texas against Joshua Clottey this weekend.

In the night's other fight, local boxer Tony Bellew demolished previously unbeaten Ghanaian Atoli Moore in one round to collect the vacant Commonwealth light-heavyweight title.