Luton boxer Michael Devine was left dumbstruck that his comeback fight against Ismail Anwar at York Hall last weekend ended in defeat.
The 27-year-old was having his first fight in over eight months, but despite believing he was comfortably winning the bout, the points decision was awarded 58-57 against him by the referee.
“I couldn’t believe the result, when they said 58-57, I thought they’ve given it close to me, and then they said it was him, and I couldn’t have thought anything worse.”Michael Devine
An amazed Devine said: “It was a strange night as my corner thought I was up in the fight and they had me winning five out of the six rounds.
“They didn’t tell me to step it up once, we thought we won comfortably, just on the cleaner work.
“I couldn’t believe the result, when they said 58-57, I thought they’ve given it close to me, and then they said it was him, and I couldn’t have thought anything worse.
“He was just a bit busier, but my shots were real clean work and you could tell my boxing ability.
“I was far from my best don’t get me wrong, but my boxing ability was much better than his.
“Every time I kept it long, I was schooling him, he was just rushing in and trying to throw his arms, nothing really connecting.
“I wasn’t getting too involved and just trying to box on the back foot a bit and keeping my hands high, which I did as a lot of the shots I was riding on my gloves and arms.
“The ref was a new ref as well, so unfortunately he’s got that wrong.”
It was Devine’s first bout since changing his trainer as he is now with Shamrock Gym’s Mervyn Turner.
He continued: “I’m going through a change period with a new trainer, so we’re trying these things out now.
“Mervyn’s a real old school, no nonsense, that’s what I need.
“Everyone knows I can fight and how much heart I’ve got, but we’re trying to get back into boxing and not taking so many punches.
“When you’re going out and having a war you’re bound to take a lot of shots, but I’m trying to box and then fight when I have to fight.
“As I reckon I can be a total different package and a whole different fighter.
“I should be able to go to the next level when I start boxing as everyone knows I can go into the trenches when I have to.”
Despite the defeat, Devine felt it was a learning curve ahead of his what is busy few months, with a fight for the Southern Area lightweight title against Floyd Moore scheduled for July
He said: “I was eight months out and I’m craving a win now.
“I’ve been in some tough fights and that (Anwar bout) was supposed to be a warm up, but that was a test, as although he hasn’t got a winning record, he’s beaten some good prospects as well.
“I wanted a little test, but I had one of my mates pass away on the Saturday and then my missus’ nan died a few days later as well, so I had a lot of things on my mind.
“I’ve obviously got the big Southern Area title fight and maybe I got a bit complacent, looking at that fight rather than focusing on the one in hand.
“But I’ve taken positives from it, it’s good to be back out there.”
Before he takes on Moore, Devine is due to fight out at the National Stadium in Dublin on June 25, against a yet to be named opponent.
He added: “I’m fighting in Dublin and haven’t had any hassle about selling tickets, there should be a really good support for me.
“There’s a few names of who I might fight, a couple of unbeaten foreign lads, maybe few other tough journeyman to get some rounds in, but I’ll leave it down to them.
“I’m someone who’ll go in the ring with anyone, I’ll just hopefully turn up on the night and get the job done.”