LEE Mould was left frustrated after being denied his first belt as a professional boxer, writes ROSS GREGORY.
The Sunderland lightweight dominated against Sheffield’s Sam Watkin as they contested for the vacant British Masters Bronze title, but only came away from the Steel City with a draw.
It left most onlookers perplexed and angry after the 23-year-old, from Town End Farm, had appeared to have won the majority of the eight rounds. The referee scored the contest 76-76, however, and Mould’s manager and trainer, Mal Gates, felt sure his fighter had been on the wrong end of a ‘home’ decision.
“I’m quite objective when I look at fights involving my lads, but I can’t see how the referee came to that decision,” said Gates. “We were robbed.
“Lee finished every round on top.
“In the second round, he wobbled him, but the bell came at the wrong time.
“The fifth was Lee’s best round – he was all over Watkin and hurt him again.
“To be fair, the sixth saw the lad come back as I think he knew he had to step it up, but I thought Lee won the last two rounds.
“Lee was landing all the good shots, particularly right hands over his jab, and some terrific body shots.
“Matkin was game, and hung in there, but I thought Lee did the more eye-catching work.
“We thought we had done enough to win but it wasn’t to be.
“It was a vacant belt so no one wins it. I will try and get a rematch up here but I don’t think they’ll take it.”
Mould was hoping to become the second champion out of the Harton & Westoe Welfare Gym in South Shields, having seen stable-mate Anthony Nelson pick up a title in the summer.
Gates added: “I’m disappointed as I thought I had my second champion, which may sound a bit selfish, but I’m just gutted for Lee. It’s so frustrating but I’m really proud of him.
“He was buzzing afterwards as he knew he had fought well.
“It was an intimidating venue and I knew it was going to be tough when you go away from home, but I couldn’t believe it was given a draw.
“We have made a lot of new fans down there and Lee is now starting to make a name for himself.”
Mould will now take a few days off before returning to the gym, with Gates determined to build on the performance at the Octagon Centre. I want to get him straight back out,” he said.
“That fight too nothing out of him – it wasn’t as if it was an eight-round war.
“He was as fresh as a daisy. There wasn’t a mark on him.”