Barrow’s Liam Conroy moved into the semi-finals of the Golden Contract light heavyweight tournament with a dominant points victory over London’s Andre Sterling.

It was a superb end to the year for the 27-year-old, who had lost out in British and European title fights in what has been a high-profile return to action after a 12-month injury absence.

Conroy controlled what was the third quarter final of the night at the Brentwood Centre, knocking down New Cross’ Sterling, 29, in the seventh round.

He was awarded his 18th victory in 24 professional fights via unanimous decision, although one of the judges’ card of 96-94 was a lot closer than the other scores of 98-91 and 97-92, which were a truer reflection of the bout.

Conroy looked the better technician from the start, getting some good jabs in while Sterling relied on taking the fight at close quarters.

The Barrovian shrugged off those attempts in any case, with him battling his way away from the ropes in impressive fashion in the second and his shots were better timed when he got on the front foot.

Having controlled the first half of the ten-round contest, leaving Sterling looking weary with a stiff right at the end of the fifth, it was in the seventh round where he took a clear advantage.

Twenty seconds in, a left hook knocked Sterling down and although he answered the count and did well in the following two rounds, Conroy made absolutely sure of victory by dominating the tenth.

After driving Sterling back with a couple of big right hands, Conroy landed a series of uppercuts to make certain the outcome wasn’t in doubt.

After the fight, Conroy told Sky Sports: “I’m so happy just to get in this tournament and to get into the next round.

“I think it was quite an exciting fight – it got messy at times, but I’m just happy to be here.

“I learned from my last fight [against Steven Ward] not to bull in and spend three minutes trying to get him out of there.

“I’ve seen him before and he’s got off the floor and won and he’s had close fights, so I knew I wasn’t just going to blow him out like that.”