LEE Cutler came through a hard-fought 10-round battle with previously unbeaten Stanley Stannard to win his English super-welterweight championship eliminator at Vitality Stadium.

The Poole fighter, who had blood pouring down each side of his face by the end, was made to work hard for the win against an opponent taking a step up in quality, having won each of his first 10 professional fights.

But Cutler was declared winner on points, coming out a 97-95 victor after the 10-rounder, to take his professional record to 13-1.

Cutler made a fast start, throwing early shots before patiently waiting for a gap, as Stannard hit back towards the end of round one.

‘Chaos’ hit his Leicestershire opponent with a good early shot in round two and stayed on the front foot, only for Stannard to again reply well, with a left hand to the face of Cutler before finishing the round well.

Cutler refused to give Stannard a moment’s peace, but suffered a cut by his left eye after a clash of heads in round four.

Stannard then suffered a severe blow in the following as Cutler bust open his right eye, upping the ante as the fight moved into the second half.

Cutler had a cut similar to his previous wound by the end of round eight, blood streaming down both side of his face for the remainder of the contest.

Knowing they had been involved in a close encounter, the pair had a hug of respect before the final round.

Cutler finished strong, pushing his opponent to the floor before then connecting with a right hand in the closing seconds.