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 fantasticPETER 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.”