By Ed Damerell
Craig Watson claimed the Commonwealth welterweight title in Wigan after Namibian Ali Nuumbembe was stopped on cuts in round nine.
The turning point came in the third round when a horrible clash of heads left Nuumbembe nursing a deep gash above his left eye.
Despite constant attention from trainer Bob Shannon the cut worsened as the fight progressed leaving Nuumbembe fighting through a haze of blood.
Watson, too his credit, had started the fight well and may have taken the title without the referee's intervention.
He stuck to his gameplan from the first bell and landed crisp combinations.
While Watson established his jab and workrate, the title holder looked out of sorts, falling short with his punches.
As Nuumbembe became more and more desperate he lurched forward and was picked off by Watson's left hook.
By the ninth the African fighter's face was covered in blood and he continued to paw at the cut.
Shortly after the start of the round referee Dave Parris decided that Nuumbembe was in no fit state to continue and waved off the contest to the delight of Watson's corner.
The Oldham fighter was well ahead on the scorecards and fully deserving of his first professional title. - www.skysports.com