Matty Hodgson wins British middleweight bareknuckle title with fourth round stoppage

MATTY Hodgson started his bareknuckle boxing career with back-to-back losses — and now he’s British middleweight champion.

By Tony Harber
Monday, 24th January 2022, 9:54 am
Newly crowned British champion Matty Hodgson.
Newly crowned British champion Matty Hodgson.

Fight fans chanted “Yorkshire” as the 35-year-old from Normanton captured the vacant belt with a fourth-round stoppage of Lawrence Tracey at London’s O2 Arena on Saturday night.

Hodgson had the Cheltenham hard man on the floor five times before the fight was waved off and said afterwards: “After those two defeats, I worked hard and now I’m British champion.

“Let’s see what happens next.”

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Tracey was gracious in defeat.

He said: “I wanted to throw the kitchen sink at him, but he stopped me coming in and doing what I do.”

The shorter fighter, Tracey wanted to get close to Hodgson and throw hooks. But although he opened a cut on Hodgson’s right eye in the opening moments, the first round belonged to the Yorkshireman.

Mostly, Hodgson was able to keep him at bay with his jab and then made a breakthrough late in the opening round.

He switched his attacks to Tracey’s body and the punches made him give ground.

It was body shot that set up the first knockdown. Hodgson dug in a hard right hook to Tracey’s ribs that brought his guard down and left his chin exposed.

Hodgson cracked him flush on the chin to send him down and by the end of the round, Tracey had been decked again and blood leaked from a wound on his left cheek.

Hodgson did not let Tracey back into the fight and the dominating performance brought its reward when the referee stopped the contest in round four.

He said afterwards: “He caught me with a body shot that really hurt, but I didn’t show it. I kept it at range and stopped him coming in.”