Corby cruiserweight Simon Barclay has vowed to put his English-title defeat behind him and “come back stronger”.
At two-and-a-half weeks’ notice, Barclay stepped in to challenge Matty Askin for the St George’s belt on a world championship bill in Liverpool.
Barclay was ruled out in the second of a scheduled 10 rounds at the Echo Arena after picking up a cut on his left eyelid.
The wound was later glued together in hospital – after Barclay waited 10 hours to see a doctor.
The 26-year-old said after the fight: “I’m disappointed with the way the fight ended, but I will come back stronger from this.
“I would like another fight and then maybe we could have a rematch.
“I was just getting into the fight when it got stopped.
“I thought I was winning the second round until the cut reopened.
“He didn’t really land anything in the second and I was feeling really good but I couldn’t see out of my eye.
“The blood was running into it and my vision was hazy.”
Given the inconclusive ending, the result isn’t a massive setback to Barclay’s title ambitions.
Askin is a proven championship-level fighter and had the fight gone beyond the opening rounds, Barclay may well have taken over.
Barclay is a thinking boxer who likes to ease his way into fights, but Askin didn’t allow him to.
At the opening bell, the 27-year-old from Blackpool came out firing long, heavy right hands.
Barclay coped with the pressure well enough until a chopping right sent him tumbling in the final minute of the round.
Barclay would later say he “didn’t even feel the punch” that put him on the floor for the first time in his professional career and he was up quickly and unhurt.
But by the end of the round, he had blood dripping from a cut on his left eye lid and the referee indicated the wound was opened by a punch, rather than a clash of heads.
Barclay came out for the second and gave as good as he got before the wound reopened and after consulting the doctor at ringside, the referee waved the fight off.
Corby ABC’s boxing brothers are in action at the Rockingham Forest Hotel tomorrow (Friday) night.
Twelve-year-old Luke Scott and elder brother Conner (14) are matched with Sonny Goodwin (Leicester Railwaymen’s) and Connor Moor (Aston) respectively.
Mark Treso makes his debut on the show.
Pick of the rest of the bouts is the English-title eliminator between teenage welterweights Kieron Conway (Kings Heath) and Ellis Blake, from West Warwick ABC.
Conway, gold medalist at last summer’s Haringey Box Cup, is unbeaten as a senior.
And, although Blake has had only a handful of bouts, he’s won them all, is a former world kickboxing champion and is considered a good prospect.
Kings Heath teenager Ben Vaughan, a winner of three national titles, is also matched.
He meets Brad Ingram (City of Gloucester).
Tickets are available from 07967 646016.