SUNDERLAND heavyweight Warren Baister says he thought he had done enough to beat Russian opponent Evgeny Tischenko in the World Amateur Boxing championships.
The 28-year-old Wearsider lost on points to the highly-fancied Russian in the finals in Kazakhstan on Monday.
But he says he felt he was one step closer to his world boxing medal dream after the fight – until the referee raised his opponents’ glove.
He told the Echo: “I’m gutted not to have gone through because I honestly thought I’d edged it.
“The fight started off fast and I landed two heavy body shots with the right hand that visibly hurt him. I knew straight away it was going to be difficult to land head shots with him being so tall – I think he was something like six foot six inches.
“That first round was close with both of us landing shots, but I felt mine were the more eye-catching.
“I took the centre of the ring in round two and followed him as he boxed from range but I’ll be honest, my work rate dropped in that round, and so for that reason I would say he took the round on work-rate alone.
“I was sent out in the third round with instructions to ‘put it on him’ and I did that – throwing punches and working as hard as I could.
“I know I won that round as I had him in trouble a few times throughout when I caught him with solid combinations. But the judges sadly didn’t see it that way.
“For me, it was a very tight first round, I lost the second but won the third, unfortunately you just have to go with the decisions you get, even if you don’t wholly agree with them.”
Tischenko’s next fight is against the Belarusian Olympian, who won the bronze medal in the last championships but for Baister there is just time to reflect on what might have been.
Warren, who works as a joiner for Gentoo, said: “I’m really disappointed about it and probably will be for some time but you’ve just got to pick yourself up and move on.
“It wasn’t the best of draws – you always want to avoid the Russians early on – but I should be beating these people at any stage.
“It’ll just make me work even harder for success.”