Lewis Williams suffered the “heartwrenching” loss of his England Youth Heavyweight title on a disappointing night for Cleary’s ABC at their Trident College show on Friday.
Williams’ defeat to Billericay and Wickford’s Ryan Butler was one of a string of home losses on a night when several tight decisions unusually went against the promoting club.
A short right from Williams forced Butler to take a standing count in the first round and despite the Cleary’s boxer being rocked in the second, a strong finish to the third looked to be enough for him to retain his title.
However, despite the heavily marked Butler finishing the bout with a badly swollen eye, it was he who got the nod from judges in a split decision, to the surprise of Williams and the majority at ringside.
“As I was walking out the ring, everybody was shaking my hand and saying they believed I had the fight,” said Williams.
“I believed I had the cleaner shots as usual and his shots were either on my arms when I was covering up or missing.
“The shots he did land I believed I outnumbered with my even cleaner shots.
“This is the sort of thing that shouldn’t happen because I lost my title which is heartwrenching.”
Danny Quartermaine could have few complaints after a split-decision loss to Luke Cope (Gus Robinson), with the Cleary’s boxer made to look wild in the opening two rounds as he struggled to pin down the clever Cope.
However, coach Edwin Cleary believes Quartermaine’s decision to dispense with his combative style to win the final round augurs well for the future.
“You’ve got to take positives and Danny did adapt to box him in the final round,” said Cleary.
Morgan Ansell can count herself unfortunate to have lost out in a split decision to long-time rival Jacey Birch (St Mary’s), while Cameron Tate’s debut against Jakey Anslow (Genesis) and Josh Finch’s contest with Marshall Gott (Parson’s Cross) also surprisingly went the way of the visiting fighters.
Ricky Atwell was another to taste defeat, with the sheer volume of punches from Bell Green’s Taylor Clarke earning him the nod despite the superior quality of the Cleary’s fighter’s work.
Cale Sunner was well behind when his contest against Max Bailey (City of Gloucester) was stopped due to a cut to the Cleary’s man and Jake Finch was disqualified for use of the head a minute from the end of his fight with Liam Riley (St Paul’s).
There were some positives for the host club, though, with Matt Archer much improved despite his defeat to Studio’s Umar Unjum and Jordan Kendall stepping it up in the final round on the way to a convincing win over Luke Carter (St Mary’s).
Aman Kumar also showed plenty of promise in his skills encounter against Riley Belcher (Banbury) which kicked off proceedings.