Lytham’s Scotty Cardle has admitted he needs to have a long, hard think about his career after being brutally stopped by Ricky Burns at the weekend.
The 29-year-old was beaten in a one-sided fight on Saturday night, crashing to the canvas and being stopped in the third round by the Scot.
Cardle was up as the count reached eight but was not allowed to continue, allowing the former three-weight world champion Burns to celebrate the 43rd win of a 51-fight career.
The step up in class was a gamble which did not pay off for Cardle, who was scheduled to face Joe Cordina for the Commonwealth title on Saturday night only for the Welshman to pull out through injury.
That left a gap on the undercard of Tony Bellew’s unsuccessful attempt to take Oleksandr Usyk’s four world cruiserweight titles, and the 35-year-old Burns stepped in at a week’s notice to deliver a devastating defeat for Cardle.
This was only the third defeat in Cardle’s 27-fight career but it looks a long road back to the top for a boxer who held the British title for two years (2015-17).
“Obviously I’m gutted about the result, it was just one of those nights,” Cardle told The Gazette.
“I felt like I couldn’t get my timing right, I couldn’t get off to a good start and that paid dividends in the third round.
“I haven’t watched the fight back yet but from what I can remember, I wasn’t really getting to where I wanted to be from an early stage.
“I feel like his jab was very effective, most of his shots were effective in the fight and the shot to finish it was a great shot to be fair.
“I’ve seen that back a few times on social media, I can’t get rid of it.
“But to be fair to Ricky, it was a belter so every credit to him. He showed he’s not finished yet and he’s got plenty left in the tank. I wish him all the best for the future.
“There was no concussion or headaches or anything like that.
“My eye isn’t in a great way and it’s still fully closed, but I think I’ll go to hospital this week just to make sure.
“But I feel fine in myself, just gutted from the result. That’s all I can say.”
What makes the nature of the defeat even more disappointing for Cardle is the blood, sweat and tears he suffered in the lead up.
“I’ll be honest, I haven’t trained harder than this at any point in my career. I couldn’t have trained any harder,” the lightweight added.
“The fitness was there, everything was there really, but obviously the game plan wasn’t.
“Ricky came out very clever and used his shots perfectly, that’s what showed on the night. He showed a more professional performance.”
Former super-middleweight world champion Carl Froch, working as a pundit for Sky Sports, advised Cardle to call it a day.
When asked what lies in store in future, Cardle said: “I’ve got to go back, watch the fight and see where I go from here.
“I haven’t had a good think about it yet, but I’m 29 now and this is the first time I’ve ever touched the canvas. I don’t like to see my Mum and my girlfriend upset.
“I do need to go back and have a good think to myself and see what lies ahead really.
“To be fair, the Cordina fight is cemented anyway but I need to figure out how much I want it because I’ve sacrificed so much in this camp just gone.
“The last 13 or 14 weeks, I’ve had to take myself away from all sorts and sacrifice so much. If I want to stay in that life and be in that place for much longer, I’ll have to sit down with my people and see what lies ahead.
“It’s a big thing and it’s a challenging sport. I’ve got to take away everything, I can’t be too sociable, I can’t spend time with my loved ones. It’s horrible when you think about it.
“I’ll be honest, I wasn’t enjoying a lot of it. What I love about boxing is fighting, I just love to get into that ring and fight.
“Going off my last fight, it’s not what I want to see. I don’t want to see people upset and I don’t want to be the reason for that.
“I have to sit down with all my close ones and just see what there is for me. I personally don’t know (if I’ll retire), it’s a hard one to say.
“I’ve been in this game, realistically, for over 20 years. I started at the age of seven and it’s all I’ve ever known.
“But I’m not daft, I’ve got good qualifications and I’m fairly clever so I could go and do something else. But I’m not too sure. I just need to see what options are available and go from there.”