Bitter defeat but McIntyre shows his potential

Jack Bishop aged 21 in the Airborne Division

‘If ever I had a hero in my life then Jack was it’

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Joel McIntyre went in search of his boxing fate.

And, in defeat in a heaving sweatpit of a York Hall on Saturday night, he learned he has much to offer the noble art.

Joel McIntyre

Joel McIntyre

McIntyre went down to a 97-95 points loss to the highly-touted Miles Shinkwin in the battle of the undefeated.

So, the Southern Area light-heavyweight title slipped from his grasp on a balmy evening in east London.

McIntyre’s army of fans who travelled up the A3 were furious with the outcome, and there was little doubt plenty of the rounds were tough for referee Jeff Hinds to score.

Ultimately, though, El Toro was to pay for a slow start in which Shinkwin was allowed to settle and showcase his flashy skills.

What wasn’t in doubt was that 
McIntyre was comfortable in his company, as he made a step up which was to be applauded.

Also not in doubt, is the fact he has the potential to succeed against such opposition, with a promising relationship building with new London trainer, Harry Andrews.

And what is emphatically beyond question is the 26-year-old had his opponent desperately holding on as he produced a wrecking-ball finale.

McIntyre’s onslaught began with a left hook in the 10th round which had Shinkwin teetering.

Then came a torrent of pressure and shots, which left the decorated England junior international relieved to hear the final bell.

‘Two more rounds and he would have stopped him,’ said trainer Harry Andrews. ‘No doubt.’

That wasn’t a one-eyed assessment from a man who had Shinkwin winning more widely than the 
scorecard had it.

That finale was a crescendo which had begun to build when Shinkwin was cut by an accidental clash of heads in the eighth.

It clearly knocked the 9-0 man out of his stride as he sacrificed his in-and-out work and rapier jab for the first time.

McIntyre’s superior strength came to the fore and his work, which had been building in the middle rounds, accelerated.

A tendency to stay in the pocket for too long and ship a jab which was his rival’s biggest weapon dogged him, particularly early on.

But some smart pressure was evident at times, too, if not clear enough to take victory in enemy 
territory.

‘I guess they saw a guy with better boxing skills dance around and run away with the title,’ McIntyre said afterwards.

‘I’ve come into another unbeaten fighter’s backyard on their promoters’s show.

‘I took a risk and it didn’t pay off. Maybe, I didn’t put the work in for quite long enough.

‘I had him hurt, though. I could see it and I think everyone could see that. But maybe it wasn’t quite enough.’

Yes, a true belief that he’d done enough to take victory on the bell was replaced by a disconsolate demeanour in the wake of battle.

McIntyre need not feel like that, though.

The affable and popular lad could have kept his unbeaten record facing an easy option in Portsmouth, and taken back-slapping plaudits from the sycophants.

He wants more than that from this hardest of games, though.

And on Saturday night he showed enough to suggest it’s in his reach.