Sunday Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - Your Tv Guide - BY MARTIN DOMIN

A DEV­AS­TATED Sam Hyde was two rounds away from win­ning his first ti­tle last night when he suf­fered a hor­ror eye in­jury.

The cruis­er­weight was on course to beat fel­low un­de­feated ri­val Richard Ri­ak­porhe on the un­der­card of Tony Bellew’s clash with Olek­sandr Usyk.

But he was caught by a right hand in the eighth round and his eye quickly swelled into a haematoma.

He ini­tially con­tin­ued be­fore his coach Joe Gal­lagher threw in the towel with Hyde strug­gling to see. “I was down on the score­cards so I had to pull it out of the bag,” said Ri­ak­porhe.

“I hit him with a hook, his face swelled up so I kept go­ing for it. I thought they should throw in the towel. A lot of peo­ple wouldn’t have taken this risk in their eighth fight.”

In a scrappy con­test, Hyde (left) was ahead on the judges’ score­cards hav­ing con­trolled the con­test.

Ri­ak­porhe’s man­ager Dil­lian Whyte said: “Richard is in­ex­pe­ri­enced. He would have wor­ried about do­ing 10 rounds. But he re­ally pulled it out of the bag.”

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