Jack Bishop has spoken of his pride in surprise Prizefighter finalist Sammy Couzens.
And the respected promoter and trainer is now looking for a big 2011 from his gutsy battler.
Couzens went down to a two-round defeat to Travis Dickinson in the last stage of the popular knockout event on Saturday.
The 24-year-old was drafted in as a wildcard finalist when Tony Dodson was ruled out on cuts after his semi-final win over Menay Edwards.
And the Titchfield light-heavyweight didn’t disappoint as he delivered a grandstand performance against unbeaten Dickinson.
Couzens was on top after a dramatic opening round against his Newcastle opponent.
But he was floored by a body shot midway through the second.
Despite wisely taking the count to recover and rising to his feet, the referee then waved off the contest.
Couzens could be proud of his performance which delighted the crowd at Olympia, though.
He also picked up a decent pay day from the event and benefited from the exposure on the Sky-televised tournament.
Bishop was pleased with his efforts as he stepped into the breach at the last minute.
He said: ‘It was a night of ups and downs, highs and lows. But I am really pleased with Sammy and how he performed,
‘He went in against a tough opponent, a big opponent, and did really well. No-one can deny that Sammy won the first round and was flying.
‘Maybe he should have tried to box him more in the second because he has a good jab. He’s a bit of a cobblestone fighter as well, though, and went in for another go.
‘He threw a punch which missed and his opponent landed with his.
‘I thought he was okay because he watched the count carefully, so his head was clear.
‘But the referee saw fit to wave the contest off.
‘It was a big step up for Sammy and we knew Dickinson was the favourite for the tournament. But he went out and got the better of him with a performance the crowd loved.
‘He entertained the crowd and they loved what they saw of him.
‘I’m very happy with him. People will be aware of him now and he can push on from here.’