Mairis Briedis takes on Simon Vallily in the Cruiserweight Contest at the Echo Arena, Liverpool.

Mairis Briedis takes on Simon Vallily in the Cruiserweight Contest at the Echo Arena, Liverpool.

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.