Hartlepool & Horden boxer Anth Hardy loses in English title challenge with Joe Hughes

Boxer Anth Hardy. Picture by FRANK REID

Boxer Anth Hardy. Picture by FRANK REID

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Anth Hardy has lost his challenge for the vacant English light-welterweight championship.

The Hartlepool and Horden boxer was beaten on a split decision by favourite Joe Hughes at Bath Pavillion.

To come away from home, against a top-rated kid and perform like that was absolutely fantastic

PETER COPE

Hardy produced a superb display of boxing in his first 10-round contest, and was perhaps unlucky to miss out on the verdict.

One of the judges marked it 97-95 to the Gus Robinson Developments star, yet the other two ringside officials both scored it 98-92 to Hughes.

It was a night of frustration and pride for his corner of Peter Cope and Alan Temple.

Cope, head coach at Gus Robinson Developments, said: “Anth was brilliant, I couldn’t have asked any more from him.

“To come away from home, against a top-rated kid, who’d been winning titles in 10 rounders, and perform like that was absolutely fantastic.

“The scores look daft and I am not going to say we were robbed or say it was a hometown ecision or anything like that.

“I think the wild difference in the scores is more down to how each individual scores a fight.

“Do you go with the all-out aggression or do you judge it on pure boxing?

“On pure boxing skill and movement, Anth was first class.

“Our Peter was here [Peter Cope Jnr] and he said afterwards ‘how can you give a decision to someone when he’s not landing?’.

“Hughes is a good kid, he comes forward, he’s aggressive, but Anth’s boxing was superb.

“It really comes down to what you see in a round, what I would say is that had we won it I wouldn’t have been surprised.

“Near the end, Alan turned to me and said ‘this is going to be close’ and when the MC said ‘we have a split decision’ I wondered if we could get it.

“Sadly, we couldn’t but I’m so proud of Anth, we all are.

“He did well in training and followed the game-plan to the letter. On another day, we might have got it.”