Glenn Foot will be back after the heartbreak of losing his English light-welterweight title – just 50 days after winning the belt.
That was the defiant message from manager and promoter, Phil Jeffries, after the Sunderland fighter was outpointed by bright, young challenger, Akeem Brown, at the Summer Rumble.
Foot, who won the vacant crown in London in May, fought to the bitter end at the Stadium of Light, but was outboxed by the slippery Gloucester southpaw who won via a majority decision.
One of the three judges marked it a 95-95 draw, but there was no doubting who the winner was on the day.
However, there was also no doubting the grit and determination shown by Foot, though ultimately he was forced to concede second best on the day to the gifted away boxer.
“I’m disappointed,” said Jeffries, who was promoting his seventh Summer Rumble. “He was young, pretty, tricky and really awkward.
“I think we are going to hear a lot about that kid.
“It was a fair result, but Footy never let anyone down. He’s a machine, he kept going to the end, he never gave up.
“He’ll come back, I’m sure of that.”
Foot has been constantly linked with a North-East showdown with the new kid on the block, Guisborough’s Josh Leather, though that would be in the balance now, given he has just suffered what is only his second pro defeat.
“There are still big fights out there for Glenn Foot,I’m sure of that,” said Jeffries. “I’ll let the dust settle and have a chat with Footy and [coach] Dave Binns.
“I know for a fact that he will be back – he’s a fighting man. He’s an honourable man too, he took defeat with good grace.
“He’s had two great wins on the road against Adam Little and Philip Bowes and then ironically loses at the Stadium of Light.
“As a promoter, that was a cracking fight and think the fans went home happy despite the result.
“As a manager I will sit down with Glenn and see where we go.”
Foot had come from behind to win the English title back in May in London, where he outpointed another southpaw, Bowes, at the York Hall.
But he was unable to repeat the trick against the wiry young prospect who, tellingly, had ‘Ring Magic’ emblazoned on his shorts.
The 21-year-old arrived on Wearside with an undefeated record but as something of an unknown quantity.
But the slick southpaw left with his unbeaten record firmly intact and with his reputation firmly established after dethroning the king of England in this blockbuster.
Brown deserved it, two of the judges giving him victory, 98-92 (Dave Parris) and 96-94 (Howard Foster) though Scotland’s Victor Loughlin could not separate them.
However, Brown looked a clear winner, and deserved the belt, much to the joy of a large and noisy travelling army of fans from the South-West.
Akeem, slightly taller than the Marley Pots man, used his long arms and legs to good effect from the start, boxing with supreme confidence.
He won the opening two sessions using his nice movement and rapid jab and looked even better in the third when he made Foot miss more than once and then again in the fifth, when he scored with regularity both gloves.
It meant the Binns-trained champ was well adrift at the mid-way stage and in need of a big second half, something he achieved when winning the title in the Eastend.
Never-say-die Foot tried to push the man known as Riidy back in the sixth only for the younger man to show his speed and accuracy.
To Glenn’s credit there was no lack of effort and while he still could not pin the elusive figure down he was looking much stronger in the seventh.
Round eight went the home way, Foot getting a left and right through to Brown’s head, ending the session with another left hook.
Foot continued to come on strong in the ninth, Brown’s gum shield sent flying at the end of the round after a volley of blows to the head. Brown, not for the first time in the bout, held on after being tagged.
This reporter had the away fighter three points to the good going into the last, meaning the former Prizefighter champion needed to unearth a stoppage to retain his belt.
He did connect with one straight right, but he could not land the clean shot, or shots, he needed. Foot sensed the game was up at the bell as he congratulated his opponent who earned the title with a superb away win, just as Glenn had just 50 says earlier.
“I have no grumbles about the result,” added Jeffries. “If I had one little complaint is that I thought the referee [Kenny Pringle] did Akeem a lot of favours.
“He was holding on and was never warned. But, like I say the decision was the right one. But I could not fault Glenn for effort. He never stopped trying.”
Elsewhere on the bill, Hartlepool’s Peter Cope outpointed Lee Connelly, while Darlington’s unbeaten former GB international Troy Williamson made it four wins from four with a third-round stoppage of Alistair Warren from Huddersfield.