Paul Morby suffered big-fight heartbreak as he lost his Southern Area title to Daniel Cadman.
Morby went down to a 98-94 points defeat to Daniel Cadman in Bethnal Green on Saturday night and with it went his chance of gatecrashing the domestic super-middleweight division party – for now.
The Portsmouth talent could have no complaints. He failed to find his rhythm and slick counter-punching game against his London opponent.
Morby found the kind of timing which makes his game tick only in flurries against Cadman’s pressure tactics.
So it’s back to the drawing board for the 31-year-old, who now has to decide the way forward under trainer Michael Ballingall.
Ballingall tipped his man to recover from the loss and play a part in the next chapter of boxing in the area.
He said: ‘It was frustrating for Paul but he just couldn’t get going. We couldn’t really argue with the outcome. The score was about right.
‘It was horrible. It was just one of those nights. They happen.
‘The things Paul usually does just weren’t working.
‘It wasn’t pretty but the result was the right one. We can’t have any excuses.
‘It was close last time but Cadman deserved it this time around.
‘We can’t mope about it, though.
‘If Paul wants to achieve things it’s up to him to show he has the hunger to do it.
‘He’s about still, so it’s up to him to come again now.’
The pattern for a scrappy contest was shaped early on with Cadman starting much the sharper.
As was the case in many rounds, Morby started the brighter and looked to be looking to build momentum – but then he let Cadman’s pressure take over.
It didn’t make for pretty viewing for much of the battle, with Morby picking up warnings from the referee.
He gained some control of the contest in the third and the battle became closer going into the middle rounds.
But the close stanzas that Morby was taking in the first meeting between the pair were going the other way now.
Cadman began coming on strong and landed the right at will towards the end of the three minutes.
By the seventh, Morby was being hurt by Cadman’s big bombs with three rights all landing on the mark.
He recovered well from that barrage in the eighth and ninth, with Cadman’s tactics testing the referee’s patience.
But it was Cadman who showed the intent until the death, with Morby out on his feet and wobbled by a ferocious onslaught by the Londoner at the finale.
Morby bravely held on to see the final bell but it was Cadman’s arm that was rightly held aloft.