SNATCHING the Commonwealth lightweight title Birkenhead’s Sean ‘Masher’ Dodd took the vacant crown at the Echo Arena on Saturday night.

The 32-year-old defeated Yorkshireman Lee Appleyard on points on a packed Liverpool undercard in a tense battle to the end.

Dodd struggled with the size and reach advantage of his opponent, staggering into the ropes at the start after an overhand right from Appleyard left him with a cut over his left eye.

Early pressure mounted as Appleyard delivered more power shots to the Birkenhead boxer.

He started to establish his jab in the fourth round but Appleyard came back with several big hits, failing to repeat his momentum from earlier on.

As Dodd delivered three sharp hooks in the 11th, Appleyard failed to crawl back.

With the judges’ cards in an unanimous decision 117-113 116-112 and 117-112 for Dodd, he was handed his second professional boxing title.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the fight Dodd said: “Hard work, dedication blood sweat and tears listening to the tactics and just being a true professional all I can say really I’m absolutely humbly honoured.

“Every person here in the Arena tonight people from Liverpool, Birkenhead the whole nation.

“I know my fan base is now growing so to everyone, everywhere from the bottom of my heart this is for all of you and to the main man in my life my granddad Gerry Dodd, this is for you grandad.”