Greg Bridet announced himself as a boxing star of the future on the way to a controversial ABA Championship final defeat.
The Heart of Portsmouth ace suffered a disputed reverse to Corby’s Simon Barclay in their enthralling 91kg clash in London last night, at the prestigious centrepiece of the amateur boxing world.
The bout quite rightly earned fight-of-the-night plaudits in a breathless battle at the home of British boxing – the York Hall in Bethnal Green.
But the novice champion could feel hard-done by to be on the end of a unanimous decision in the capital.
Bridet floored Barclay in an opening round he dominated, as he showed what an exciting talent he is.
Barclay then displayed his class to come storming back in the second to set the contest up for a grandstand finale.
That proved to be three minutes of back-and-forth action which delighted a sell-out crowd.
The decision went the way of Barclay by a distance, though, to the frustration of the healthy Bridet support.
Bridet admitted the loss was hard to take but accepted it in graceful fashion.
He is determined to put it right against Barclay, though – and doesn’t intend to leave it the judges next time.
The good news for Portsmouth is there’s little doubt there is much more to come from the stylish heavyweight.
Bridet said: ‘It was frustrating to lose.
‘He was a handful but I thought I did enough. I will next time.
‘A lot of my shots were smothered but I did catch him with good shots.
‘It means a lot to have people say good things about the performance. It’d mean more if I won, though.
‘It could have gone either way, but I was getting shots in all the time.
‘I want a rematch now. That’s what I’m looking for
‘I was knocking him off balance a lot, but a loss is a loss.
‘Things are happening quickly for me, though. Definitely.
‘I’ll train harder and knock him out next time.’
HOP head coach Q Shillingford felt his man was unlucky to receive a loss.
But the good news is that British boxing is standing up and taking notice of his club – and Bridet, in particular.
His ability to be able to box, as well as go toe-to-toe, makes for a classy style which entertains.
Shillingford thinks the sky is the limit for his charge.
He said: ‘I thought Greg did really, really well in the first.
‘Barclay came back in the second so I told Greg to go to war in the third.
‘I thought he did enough to win. One hundred per cent.
‘The other guy looked relieved to win. People were surprised by it.
‘People are saying what a great contest it was, though.
‘It was the fight of the night.
‘There’s a lot more come from Greg – that’s for sure.’