Stephen Simmons’ bid to become the first Scot crowned British cruiserweight champion went out like a light as he was stopped by reigning champion Matty Askin in the second round at London’s York Hall.
The Edinburgh boxer had revealed in the build-up to Saturday night’s duel that it was likely to be his last as a professional and it seems inevitable that the third loss of his career will be the 33-year-old’s final appearance in the ring.
Simmons was actually more successful than his opponent during an encouraging opening round but thibgs quickly fell apart.
An Askin uppercut right at the start of the second round appeared to unnerve the current IBF European champion and things went from bad to worse for the former Leith Victoria amateur as a left hand to the body left Simmons in a crumpled heap on the canvas and unable to make referee Ian John-Lewis’ count.
Simmons was visibly upset that he couldn’t put up more of a resistance as he was helped to his feet by coach Billy Nelson.
If he elects to hang up his gloves, Simmons’ record stands at 18 wins (7KO) and 3 defeats having made his debut in 2011.
After the fight, Simmons said: “Gutted is an understatement but very well done to Matty Askin on the win.
“He landed the perfect shot right in the solar plexus.
“I wish him all the best for his next step in the ring.”
Askin was full of praise for his opponent, saying: “He [Simmons] is a hard man, a very hard man.
“But I just knew that if I got my game right then I’d beat anyone.
“I’d been going through the uppercut and left hook to the body in the changing room beforehand and it paid off.”