North East prospect Simon Vallily suffered a crushing third round stoppage defeat against WBC mandatory challenger Mairis Briedis at Liverpool’s Echo Arena on Saturday night.
On a card which saw current WBC cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew retain his title in dominant fashion, Middlesborough born Vallily (9-1 – 2KO) found the task of upsetting the unbeaten Briedis (21-0 – 18KO) a challenge too great in only his 10th professional fight.
Competing against an opponent with more then twice as many bouts on his record, a tentative first round began in Vallily’s favour, with the Commonwealth gold medalist controlling the centre of the ring with a mixture of good head movement and a commanding jab.
The round continued with a sustained attack form Vallily and the Yorkshireman shook Briedis with a winging right hand to end a successful, although fairly scrappy first round for the South Bank fighter.
Momentum shifted in the second however and a more composed Briedis began to spot gaps in Vallily’s defence, with heavy handed shots visibly hurting his opponent.
A dogged approach was clearly the Latvians game plan and a body shot towards the end of the round almost put the ‘Boro fighter down.
The onslaught resumed at the start of the 3rd and within a minute Briedis scored his first knock down – a stinging body shot sending Vallily to the canvas.
A valiant Vallily attempted a brave offence but ultimately fell victim to Briedis’ experience and power, the referee stopping the contest with 24 seconds left of the round to inflict a first professional defeat for the North Yorkshire native.
While Briedis marches on to a potential world title fight, Vallily will return to the domestic scene to prepare for a second assault on the cruiserweight elite after Saturdays brief flirt at world level.