Rickmansworth's Elliott Matthews defended his Southern Area middleweight title after overcoming Peckham’s Diego Burton.

It was Matthews’ first bout against an opponent with a winning record and he began the contest tentatively.

Burton caught the Ricky fighter with a right hook midway through the round and Matthews fell to the canvas.

Referee Jeff Hinds was blindsided and ruled the incident as a slip. That allowed Matthews the chance to go on and win the first round.

Matthews, 32, saw off pressure from Burton in the second, third and fourth round and appeared to have the measure of his opponent by the end of the fifth.

In the sixth, Matthews produced a strong round and landed several punches while Burton looked ragged.

The seventh round proved to be the final round of the contest. The two fighters clashed heads midway through the session which resulted in Matthews suffering a cut over his right eye.

The champion took the round and was sent out for the eighth. However, Hinds sought advice from the ringside doctor and the bout was halted.

The referee scored an 80-74 decision for Matthews who retained the title by technical decision.