Joel McIntyre suffered big-fight heartbreak in London tonight.
The Leigh Park light-heavyweight went down to a 97-95 points loss to Miles Shinkwin at the York Hall in Bethnal Green.
McIntyre’s fans were furious with the result but there was no complaint from the 26-year-old’s camp afterwards.
What wasn’t in doubt was it proved an absorbing contest at a heaving sweatpit home of British boxing.
McIntyre was the slower to start and gave away early rounds, which proved crucial.
But the Harry Andrews-trained boxer found his rhythm in the middle section of the contest against the decorated England junior amateur.
It was McIntyre’s controlled pressure against Shinkwin’s flashy outside work, as the contest ebbed and flowed.
Shinkwin was badly cut in the eighth, which was the catalyst for a powerful McIntyre finish.
The man who was given the verdict was holding on for dear life in the final round.
McIntyre didn’t get the stoppage, but felt he’d done enough to get the verdict.
It was his rival’s arm held aloft by referee Jeff Hines, though, after the final bell.
The disappointment was etched on McIntyre’s face afterwards.
But he could be proud of his performance, the maturity he showed for long periods and his promise for his future.