A brave effort by one of the rising stars of Ilkeston’s Trinity Amateur Boxing Club, Sam Bates, just failed to land him a prestigious regional title.
Light-heavyweight Bates lost out on a split 2-1 decision to tough Swadlincote opponent, Brad Park, in the 81kg class B final of the East Midlands Regional Championships. But the fact that all three judges scored the three-round contest 38-37 showed how close it was.
Park, who fights for the South Derbyshire Boxing Academy, edged the first round as Bates took time to adapt to his shorter rival’s attacking style. But the Trinity boxer came back strongly in the second, firing in some good long-range combinations.
Both landed big punches in an exciting final round. But although Bates grew in confidence, he was deducted a crucial point for pushing his opponent away, and that probably made all the difference.