Aylesbury boxer Nathan Graham lost his coveted Southern Area Title when he was agonisingly beaten by a single point in his bout against Freddie Turner.
Former Mandeville School pupil Graham came out on the wrong end of the judges decision 94-93 after the contest for the British Boxing Board of Control Southern Area light-middleweight title went the full 12 rounds in York Hall, London, at the weekend.
Graham, who used to play for Aylesbury United and Aylesbury FC, admitted it was a ‘close fight’ but criticised the referee for getting things ‘wrong’.
“I am disappointed at the result to be honest,” he said.
“It was the first time I had fought an opponent out of the southpaw stance and although I found it quite awkward initially, I soon got used to it.
“Overall it was a very close fight but I feel I should have won it.”
In an eventful fight both boxers were down on the canvas at one point.
Graham was knocked down in the eighth round, however in the next round his opponent Turner also went down after suffering a cut below his left eye.
Graham said: “I feel I got a bit of a raw deal with the knockdowns.
“I went down in round eight after a clash of heads, but the referee adjudged it as a knockdown which I felt was the wrong decision.
“Then in round nine I put him down on the canvas. When he got up, he was then allowed about 30 or 40 seconds to clear his head and re-adjust his gumshield by the referee. I feel that if the fight had been restarted quicker I could have knocked him out then.”
Graham, 31, now has a record of 14 wins (including six knockouts), six defeats (including two knockouts) and a draw from 21 fights.
He added: “I would like to thank everyone who came to support me on the night and everyone who helped me with sponsorship. I would also like to thank Pegasus Gym for allowing me to use their facilities for training and also my father for all his help and support.”