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Smith-Zepeda Undercard Wrap: James Flint Defeats Campbell Hatton; Ishmael Davis, Nico Leivars Win


SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND – MARCH 23: Campbell Hatton (blue shorts and James Flint (white shorts) during their Central Area Super-Lightweight Title contest at Utilita Area Sheffield on March 23, 2024 in Sheffield, England. (Photo by Mark Robinson/Getty Images)

Campbell Hatton learned more in his first defeat than he had in his previous fourteen victories.

It’s the takeaway that the second-generation boxer will have to accept after he was outboxed by James Flint. Scores of 98-92, 97-94 and 97-95 landed in favor of Flint, who defended his British Central Area 140-pound title.

The bout served as part of a DAZN-aired undercard Saturday evening from Utilita Arena in Sheffield, England.

Hatton hoped to claim the same regional title won by his Hall of Fame-elected father, Ricky Hatton, 25 years earlier.

All he could leave with was praise for a gritty effort and a sturdy chin. Flint (14-1-2, 3 knockouts) thoroughly outclassed the previously unbeaten Hatton (14-1, 5 KOs) throughout their ten-round preliminary contest.

Ishmael Davis capped an emotional stretch with a well-earned, unanimous decision victory over Troy Williamson.

There was nearly a 24-hour period where Davis was convinced the fight would not move forward. Williamson badly missed weight on Friday and failed to concede to terms by Saturday morning.

Davis posted hours before the show that the fight would not move forward until an eleventh-hour deal was reached to salvage the domestic 154-pound scrap.

Davis (13-0, 6 KOs) took care of the rest from there and powered his way to victory. Judges Reece Carter (116-112), Victor Loughlin (117-111) and Marcus McDonnell (116-112) scored unanimously in favor of the 28-year-old Leeds product.

Williamson (20-3-1, 14 KOs) has suffered all three career defeats in his last four fights.

Nico Leivars (6-0-1, 1 KO) picked up his first career stoppage the hard way. The unbeaten junior featherweight overcame a gruesome cut and went more rounds than ever before to turn away Piotr Mirga (7-3, 0 KOs).

A left hook to the body provided the finish for Leivars, who closed the show at 1:32 of round nine. The bout marked the first to go beyond the eighth round for the unbeaten Mansfield native.

All three bouts came in support of the Dalton Smith-Jose Zepeda junior welterweight crossroads bout.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for The Ring and vice president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

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