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Sunday, 12 November, 2000, 02:06 GMT
Neary outpointed by Magee
Shea Neary (l) here in action against Mickey Ward
Shea Neary (l) here in action against Mickey Ward
Belfast's Eamonn Magee retained his Commonwealth light-welterweight title on a hotly disputed points decision over Shea Neary in the build-up to the Lennox Lewis/David Tua fight.

Magee edged home, 116-114 on referee Roy Francis's card, in the last two rounds after Neary had taken control at the midway point.

Magee had dominated the opening five rounds with his superb counter-punching, catching 'Shamrock Express' Neary repeatedly with his stiff right lead.

But suddenly Neary found an extra gear in the sixth.

It was clearly a home town decision. There is no doubt that I deserved to win the fight
  Shea Neary
The Liverpudlian managed to get through with his clubbing blows, clearly outworking Magee in the sixth and seventh.

Brimming with confidence, Neary stayed on top as it appeared that Magee had no answer to his constant pressure.

As they entered the 11th it was an even fight and most were expecting Neary to continue his domination, but Magee seemed to find a second wind and just edged the round.

Furious last round

The final three minutes proved to be some of the best in an absorbing contest as the fighters stood toe to toe and exchanged some heavy punches that would have floored lesser men.

But again the champion seemed to have done just the greater quality of work and deserved to retain his title.

A dejected Neary blasted: "It was clearly a home town decision. There is no doubt that I deserved to win the fight."

And manager John Hyland was left fuming at the decision of referee Francis.

He stormed: "Roy Francis is a disgrace to boxing - he's retiring at the end of this year and he better retire, because he's not wanted in boxing.

"Everybody in the hall knows that Shea Neary is the real Commonwealth champion - he's the true champion, everybody in the hall knows who won the fight."

Adrian Stone in fine form

Earlier Bristol's Adrian Stone produced a breathtaking performance as he stopped Wexford's Derek Roche in the second round of their IBO light-middleweight title fight.

Champion Stone unloaded with a textbook right hook which floored the Irishman and he never fully recovered.

Glasgow's Scott Harrison retained his Commonwealth featherweight title with a sensational last-round stoppage of Ghana's Eric Odumassi.

After a titanic struggle, Harrison produced a superb left hook which sent Odumassi crashing to the canvas.

And, while the African managed to beat the count, referee Richie Davies called a halt after 31 seconds of the 12th round.

Liverpool's Peter Culshaw retained his WBU flyweight title with a facile first round knock-out of Bulgarian Demitra Alipiev.

Former IBO champion Charles Shephard saw his career take a nosedive when he was soundly outpointed by unbeaten Bulgarian Tontcho Tontchev.

Olympic silver medallist Tontchev retained his WBA international super-featherweight championship with ease, winning every round on all three judges' scorecards.

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