ABA agony for Clift, Cassap

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Big-hitting boxers Courtney Clift and and Warren Cassap both exited the National ABAs at the semi-final stage in controversial fashion, writes Graeme Anderson.

The Lambton Street ABC boxers were fancied to reach the finals this year, but their bouts did not go as expected.

Clift, 31, was disqualified early in the final round, just as he was overhauling the points lead of Burton superheavyweight Frazer Clark.

Clift had been warned for a low blow in the second round but looked to have overcome that to have every chance of winning in the third round, only to be unexpectedly disqualified with the referee adjudging he was holding and hitting.

Heavyweight prospect Cassap, 19, fought Simon Barkley of Corby and dominated the opening two rounds, but, instead of being awarded a big lead, went into the final round only four points up.

The third round was won by Barkley, but the round was heavily scored, eclipsing Cassap’s efforts in the opening two rounds.

Lambton Street coach Tony Austin said: “Both lads were bitterly disappointed with the decisions.

“Warren was convinced he’d won it and so did his opponent, I think.

“And it was harsh on Courtney to disqualify him at the point where it looked as though he was about to go on and win it.

“Sometimes you just get decisions that surprise you in boxing though and you just have to live with them.

“It’s a sickener for the lads, but they’ll be back.”