Paddy Connors, of Huthwaite Boxing Club, slipped to a narrow defeat in his second professional fight- but in controversial circumstances, writes David Statham.
Paddy took on Scunthorpe’s Jody Meikle in a cruiserweight fight on a Clifton Mitchell-promoted bill at the Hermitage Leisure Centre in Whitwick, Leicester.
And it looked as if the 20-year-old had done enough to win the six-round encounter and maintain his unbeaten record. But the referee thought otherwise and raised his opponent’s hand at the final bell.
Scott Calow and Richard Ashley, who were in Paddy’s corner, were stunned at the shock decision as they believed their man had won convincingly.
Paddy, who won his debut fight last year, began at a quick pace and landed the more meaningful punches throughout. He regularly connected with his powerful, straight right-hand shots and he snapped his opponent’s head back in the final round.
Accomplished boxer Jody, who was competing in his 19th bout, took the shots well, maintained a high work-rate and gave a good account of his self.
The boxer in the ‘away’ corner seemed to do slightly more in a couple of the rounds, but at ringside the general consensus was that Paddy had won the majority of the rounds and had secured win number two of his career.
Paddy’s army of fans were left bewildered when the 58-57 points decision was awarded to the Lincolnshire boxer.
Scott, Paddy’s manager, revealed he is filing a complaint to the British Boxing Board of Control because of the ‘terrible’ decision.
He added: “I’ve had phone calls from people within the boxing industry and they’ve said they’ve seen bad decisions in boxing, but never anything as clear cut as this one.
“Paddy’s got nothing to be ashamed of. He boxed well and did everything that was asked of him. Everybody I’ve spoken to has said that he looked good.
“It was just a terrible decision.”
Meikle’s team said they believed their man had done enough to win the fight.
Paddy has since shaken off the disappointment and is already back training hard in the Huthwaite gym. Scott said he hopes to get Paddy a couple of fights lined up as soon as possible.
Huthwaite’s Gordon Watson has his third professional fight on 7th April. The well-supported, undefeated super-middleweight boxer faces Bobby Wood on a big fight bill at the Grove Leisure Centre in Newark.
There are seven fights on the night, including two championship bouts. Should Gordon win, he may get chance to challenge for a title later in the year. Tickets from £30 are available from Gordon on 07786 543315.