Boxing: Anthony Nelson loses to Belfast's Jamie Conlan in Commonwealth title fight

Beaten: Anthony Nelson
Beaten: Anthony Nelson

Anthony Nelson's reign as Commonwealth champion is over after an eighth-round KO by Jamie Conlan.

The South Shields star was on top in the super-flyweight thriller at London's Copperbox Arena when Conlan landed a devastating body shot in the opening seconds of round eight.

Nelson was felled in the centre of the ring and failed to beat Marcus McDonnell's count, the referee ending the contest on 40 seconds of the round.

It was a desperately disappointing end to a cracking maiden defence by the 30-year-old at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park venue.

Roared on by a big following, Nelson had begun well only to be put down by a long and short right from Conlan. Nelson got up and finished the opener strongly but was hurt again in the second, his legs dipping.

He withstood a Belfast onslaught but the opening two rounds went to the challenger.

Nelson never stopped piling forward and pulled out a stunning right to put the 29-year-old down in the third. Conlan was up by eight but the South Shields FC-sponsored star was right back init.

Round four was Nelson's as he forced the WBO International champion back.

Conlan sharpened up in the fifth and applied heavy pressure, but, again, Nelson refused to buckle.

And the Mal Gates-trained star roared back in the sixth, picking off the Irishman at will and, on this reporter's scorecard, was ahead after six belting rounds.

Nelson piled it on in the seventh and downed Conlan with a right to the body. Referee McDonnell ruled it a low blow and told off the title holder but did not take a point off him.

But Nelson came straight back at Conlan and floored him with a left-right combination to the head. Jamie was up at eight but looked a beaten man.

However, Conlan survived to the end of the round and then produced a devastating finish to take the title and end Nelson's unbeaten record.