CALLUM Winton professional boxing debut did not go according to script – but the Gus Robinson Developments team can still see a happy ending for the gifted fighter.
The 20-year-old, once dubbed the mini-Hitman because of his similarity to Ricky Hatton, was held to a draw by Scotland-based Malta featherweight Steve Martin.
As a youngster at the Catholic Club, Winton established himself as a boxer to be feared among his fellow fighters and one the crowds loved to watch.
And in the first two rounds at the Summer Rumble all looked to be going to plan.
In the opening three minutes his jab was excellent and there was a thumping trademark left hook to the body and there were more such shots in round two.
Martin, a tidy and accurate boxer himself, had landed a few short, sharp rights in the first half of the contest and began to grow in confidence.
Winton forced his rival back early in the third but was not throwing enough and the 25-year-old boxed well on the back foot and landed more scoring shots.
The Gus Robinson Developments boxer began the last with a strong right and despite a Martin flurry, the Poolie just about did enough to edge the round.
This reporter viewed Callum a 39-37 winner.
But referee Andrew Wright was the only judge that mattered and thought otherwise, scoring the last for Martin to make the result 38-38.
The Winton corner were incensed and Winton was equally shocked, saying: “I thought I won.
“I’m gutted I didn’t get it and because I didn’t, I view it as a defeat.”
Both Winton and his camp will learn lessons from this.
The boxer will know now not to take his foot off the pedal after a good start and his team will not pick such a tough opponent for a boxer making his debut and who has not fought for over a year.
The principle of not bringing in a rival who will not fold was a noble one, but Martin proved too lively.
But the bottom line is Winton did not lose – it was a draw and probably a harsh one.
Coach Peter Cope said: “Callum’s a top boxer. I see him in the gym every day and he’s got the skills and the power to be a great success.”
– ROY KELLY