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Phil Sutcliffe suffers shocking stoppage loss in Leeds

Phil Sutcliffe Jr fell to a controversial stoppage defeat tonight in Leeds in the biggest fight of his career.

Fighting at the First Direct Arena in Leeds, the Irishman was halted in the sixth round of his IBF East/West Europe light welterweight title fight with Josh Leather.

Opening the Josh Warrington v Kiko Martinez card live on BT Sport, the Crumlin heavy-hitter will feel somewhat hard done by following an extremely exciting fight.

An even contest beforehand, level on the cards or one point either way, Sutcliffe was stopped standing in the sixth by referee Howard Foster, with most viewing it as a wholly premature stoppage.

The Irishman made a furious start, tearing into Leather from the start, buzzing him early. The Middlesbrough boxer would come back into it strongly, knocking Sutcliffe off balance twice before they traded to the bell.

A better second from Leather saw him implement his reach advantage and time Sutcliffe, who switched southpaw, well.

A closer third would follow before Sutcliffe was stunned by a snappy three-punch combination that forced him back and made his legs wobble.

‘Succo’ would recover well and managed to hurt Leather with his best shot of the fight before the Englishman was given a stern talking to by referee Howard Foster for straying low.

A razor-tight fifth saw Leather work well when outside, while Sutcliffe was doing some good work on the inside and landing the most notable shot of the round, a well timed counter right that forced the Teesider back.

Leather came on strong in the sixth round and stunned Sutcliffe with a nice combo, the hurt Dubliner would cling on and the pair would be separated. As they reconvened, Sutcliffe would throw a cuffing backhand right while Leather landed a sharp shot inside and Howard Foster would jump in and shockingly call a halt to the fight as they fell into  clinch.

The controversial defeat sees Sutcliffe drop to 13(8)-2(1), while Leather moves to 12(6)-0 with the break-out win.

Joe O’Neill and Gavan Casey speak to Jason Quigley on Episode 5 of The Irish Boxing Show:

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie