Anthony Nelson-Jamie Conlan: South Shields & Belfast boxers win fight of the year

Anthony Nelson v Jamie Conlan: fight of the year
Anthony Nelson v Jamie Conlan: fight of the year

Anthony Nelson was today celebrating winning the Fight of the Year award with super-flyweight rival Jamie Conlan.

The pair collected the prize at the British Boxing Board of Control's annual awards last night in London for their Commonwealth title fight.

Nelson was knocked out by the unbeaten Northern Ireland boxer in the eighth round of their thriller at the Copper Box Arena on London's Olympic Park back in April.

It was an incredible battle - both boxers twice visited the canvas before Conlan finished the bout in clinical fashion

The contest, one of the best this reporter has seen, in any year, had everything.

Nelson had begun the defence of his title confidently, only to be put down by Conlan in the first and was hurt again in the second.

He survived the onslaught and in the third, a stunning right put the 29-year-old down.

The following rounds went to and fro but then in the seventh Nelson floored Conlan with a right to the body.

Referee Marcus McDonnell ruled it a low blow but Nelson came straight back and decked the Irishman with a left-right combination to the head.

The challenger looked a beaten man at that point but at the start of round eight, Conlan landed a devastating body shot and Nelson failed to beat McDonnell's count.

The boxers looked thrilled last night to come out top in the category - Anthony Joshua v Dillion Whyte was one of the other fights shortlisted - as Nelson's coach Mal Gates explained.

"We're buzzing," said Gates. "It was fabulous to see the lads together last night and I think they were stunned when their fight was announced as the winner."