Trinity ABC heavyweight star Russ Henshaw gave an outstanding performance but fell to a tight points decision in Sheffield last week.
Henshaw was up against Sweden international boxer Gabriel Richards and the 27-year-old Ilkeston man targeted the body throughout and cut space down well.
But the tall Swedish champion took the decision after a thrilling fight.
Both boxers unloaded fast combinations in an exciting battle that was always in doubt.
The Swedish fighter did score as Henshaw cut him down but, when the Ilkeston man got him to the ropes, he hammered in fierce body punches that hurt but maybe didn’t always score as the judges may not have seen them all landing.
At the final bell there was a great show of respect from both boxers and a standing ovation from the appreciative Yorkshire crowd.
Trinity coach Scott Rafferty said: “That was an outstanding effort by Russ against a top class boxer.
“Richards is one of Europe’s top heavyweights and Russ took him very close.
“Many thought he had won it but the main thing is that he is facing the best and gaining experience as he stakes a claim to make the England squad.”
Henshaw is now among the top five heavyweights in the country and next season will be gunning for the top men, including ABA champion Simon Barclay who he gave such a scare to in the Midland final as Barclay progressed to take his second ABA title.
That return match is planned for Trinity’s Pride Park promotion in November, when the club’s outstanding talent will feature against top opposition from around the country.
Junior star Lewis Doyle, 15, was also in action last week in the Aldercar and Langley Mill tournament at Shipley WMC where he took on local favourite Jack Hutsby. Lewis pulled away in the first two rounds with his sharp left jab and sealed his victory with a solid final round. Scott Rafferty said : “Lewis has made massive steps this season and this was a very impressive win. “