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

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


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.”