Lee Appleyard came agonisingly close to winning the Commonwealth lightweight title, eventually losing on points to Sean Dodd,
Some fans at the Liverpool Arena thought the Rotherham man’s early work could have been enough to deliver him his first professional title. But the judges went unanimously with the home fighter.
Dave Coldwell, his manager, said: “I was proud of my boy.” He added Appleyard had taken the fight with three weeks notice “stepping up into 12 round championship class and putting up a great effort.”
Coldwell expects his fighter to “Learn and return.”
The South Yorkshireman caught Dodd with a hefty right hand in the opening round, And he kept the momentum up over the next two.
But Dodd, smaller but quicker, began to pick up rounds with neater work, targeting to good effect.
Appleyard, who was occasionally vulnerable to the overhand right, rallied but couldn’t find the big shot to swing it his way, losing 117-113 116-112 and 117-112.
The rangey away fighter sportingly accepted the judges’ version.
“I will come again, without a shadow of a doubt” he said.
Sheffield binman Carl Wild returned from a nine-month lay off to claim a spectacular away win over a previously unbeaten Mickey Ellison.
He outpointed Ellison on Friday at the Victoria Warehouse, Manchester, in a four-rounder.
The win took the 31-year-old light heavyweight’s record to W 15 L26 D5.
Commonwealth title contender Sam Sheedy posted on social media: “So proud of my mate Carl Wild. Absolutely over the moon, he’s a grafter and got the win.”