GREG BRIDET’S Commonwealth Games dream has been shattered in controversial circumstances.
Heart of Portsmouth’s Great Britain international crashed out of the England Boxing Senior Elite Championships in the preliminary rounds on Saturday.
It’s a decision his coach, Q Shillingford, has branded the worst he has seen in 36 years of involvement with amateur boxing.
Shillingford has handed in a written complaint over the verdict, which means an investigation into his split-decision defeat to Moulsecoomb’s Ed Lawrence will now have to take place.
That can’t see the verdict overturned, however, meaning a dagger blow to the reigning ABA heavyweight champion’s hopes of making it to Glasgow this summer.
Bridet gave Lawrence two standing counts, while his opponent was warned for holding in the final round.
Shillingford revealed that Bridet’s opponent, his coach and even the referee apologised for the decision going against him.
And that has left the boxer heartbroken.
Shillingford said: ‘Greg is devastated.
‘The whole hall was stunned when the decision was read out.
‘Nobody could believe what was going on.
‘It was stunned silence.
‘The decision can’t be reversed but you can make an official complaint in writing within 30 minutes of the contest – and that’s what I’ve done.
‘It has to be investigated, because I’ve been coaching for 26 years and in boxing for 36 years – and it’s the worst decision I’ve seen.
‘Greg has been so blatantly robbed. The boy is in bits.
‘That’s why I’m not going to let this decision lie.
‘I respect officials. They do a great job and, without them, our sport would not exist.
‘But I can’t accept this decision and it has to be looked at.
‘The Commonwealth Games are this year and Greg had a chance of making it. That won’t happen now. Those dreams have been dashed.
‘If he had got to the final and won he would have had a strong case to be on the GB Podium Squad.
‘Greg would have been on the road to the Olympics.
‘I’ve never in my time in coaching made a complaint in writing. But something has to be done about this. This needs to be looked at.’
Hampshire & Isle of Wight ABA honorary secretary, Yinka Bello, was at the event hosted by Gosport ABC.
He said: I felt Greg had won and found it difficult to see it any other way.
‘Contentious decisions are a big part of our sport.
‘I’d like to see some other people watch the bout and get some second opinions.’