Doubting Thomas: Jeffries unsure where he can take Essomba after loss of Commonwealth title

Thomas Essomba puts Jay Harris under the cosh in Friday's Commonwealth title fight. Picture by Natalie Mayhew/Butterfly Boxing
Thomas Essomba puts Jay Harris under the cosh in Friday's Commonwealth title fight. Picture by Natalie Mayhew/Butterfly Boxing
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Phil Jeffries fears a long journey back for Thomas Essomba after he relinquished his Commonwealth title.

The Sunderland boxer was beaten on a unanimous points decision by undefeated Welshman Jay Harris in London on Friday night.

Essomba and Jeffries had hoped a successful maiden defence would lead to world flyweight honours.

But now the man who has guided his career ever since he came to Sunderland in 2012, seeking asylum, faces a less-than-certain future.

“It’s going to be awkward now to plot his future,” said Jeffies.

“I haven’t got a clue what to do with him.

“He may have to go on the road.

“He can’t fight for the English, British or European titles because he’s from abroad.

“I just hope the phone rings and one of the Matchroom boxers want to fight him.

“He’s a nice lad and excellent boxer, but I don’t know where I can go with him.”

The bout at the York Hall was close. This reporter could not separate them after 12 very watchable rounds, which were screened live on BoxNation.

But the only views which mattered were those of the judges, who had Harris winning by margins of five, three and one point.

The score of Bob Williams, 117-112, was ludicrously wide, but Jeffries had Essomba two rounds down, arguing the two-time Olympian lost it rather than the 26-year-old from Swansea won it.

“Thomas threw a lot of shots which missed and he lost a lot of energy,” said the manager.

“It was a good fight, but I honestly thought he would have won.

“It’s no excuse. I’ve seen Thomas spar with Tommy Ward and look excellent.

“I think he was lazy in the middle rounds.

“When he needed to step it up and jump all over him he didn’t do it.

“He backed off too much.”