Little loses British title eliminator
Kirkham boxer Adam Little was left crestfallen and seriously considering his future in the fight game after losing an eliminator for the British super-lightweight title in Wigan on Saturday night.
Little, jetting off to Poland on holiday within a few hours of this defeat at the hands of Glenn Foot, lost the verdict on all three judges' cards at the DW Stadium.
John Latham (97-94) John Keane (97-93) and Dave Parris (96-94) all went for Sunderland boxer Foot, and though it was stretching a point to say such a judgement erred on the side of a travesty, it did look harsh to more than one ringside observer and not least Little himself, who was close to tears afterwards before he recovered his composure.
He readily conceded that it was a close contest but thought he had done just enough to win.
There was no such doubt in Foot's mind who boasted: "I won the first eight rounds."
Foot's face did not back up that contentious viewpoint as he was badly marked and puffed up at the finish, looking like he had come out on the wrong side of the argument.
Maybe Little paid the price for a slow start when Foot swarmed all over him in the early rounds.
For what it's worth, the ringside observer writing this thought Little had won by two rounds (98-96) - he was the cleaner, more skilled boxer and was particularly effective with the jab, but the three arbiters clearly favoured Foot's aggression, much to the delight of the Sunderland man's raucous supporters who travelled down from the North East to cheer their hero on.
Nor did Little let any of his fans down, though he conceded he was not at his best.
It was Little's second loss as a pro, the only previous defeat being a contentious loss to Sam Matkin.
He said: "Coming after losing to Matkin, maybe it is not to be.
"My performance was forced and that was why I was throwing the jab all the time.
"It's like a defence mechanism that I have in my mind, when I am not performing, I throw the jab, even though it was working.
"Personally, I had it really close and I thought I nicked it and hit him with the much cleaner shots.
"He might have been throwing three or four to my one, but I was literally throwing his head back,
"The ones he was hitting me with were just glancing shots.
"But at the end of the day, that's boxing - I don't score the fights, they do.
"I have to take it and re-assess and decide what I want to do.
"I took a bit of a hiding early on, but I told myself I needed to switch on. Once I got used to what he was doing, I was walking through him.
Foot said: "I thought I won the first eight rounds.
"This is just the start - I want bigger things now.
"Tyrone Nurse is the champion - let's get it on. I'll fight anyone."
Little's trainer Alan Levene said: "It was tight, but I had Adam winning. Foot had big rounds early on, but then Adam worked his way into the fight.
"I had Adam winning by one or two - where the wide margins come in, I just don't see.
"We hurt Foot in stages during the fight, but Adam let him off the hook a bit.
"But it is what it is - we will lick our wounds and come back. We will go back and work harder and Adam will come back."
Little's manager Neil Marsh contended: "I thought Adam won it, but the judges must have scored it on aggression - Adam could have done things better, but he did the cleaner work.
"Glenn Foot did not connect enough to justify a win of that margin."
As expected, Foot came with all guns blazing and in the opening three rounds - he clearly seized the initiative and seriously ruffled his rival.
In the first session, Little touched down, and the timekeeper reached a count of three, it was rightly ruled a slip.
By the mid-point of the fight Little was coming to terms with Foot's aggressive style, trainer Levene telling his charge: "You've seen his best - now it;s your turn to take over."
The seventh was by some way Little's best round and he had Foot rocking with the speed of some of his combinations.
Maybe in the next two sessions Little was not quite as assertive as he should have been, but still looked to have the lead entering the last, Foot losing his mouthpiece three times, giving more than a heavy hint that he was tiring and was buying time.
However, all such doubts were ended when the final verdict was given and Foot delighted his supporters by having his hand raised in triumph.
Hopefully, wise counsel will prevail and Little will decide that he has too much talent and potential to stop boxing now.
On the same show, Kirkham heavyweight Bill Hodgson made it five wins as a professional as he out-pointed muscular Hungarian Andras Csomor over four rounds.
Hodgson won three of the rounds and the other was shared against a boxer who had been in the ring with Dereck Chisora last year, losing in two rounds.
It was a good night for Hodgson all round for the fighter who had the initials PNE emblazoned on his shorts as his favourite foootball team won.
Hodgson was critical of his own display.
He said: "I wasn't quite happy with my performance - I should have stuck to my game plan, but I got involved in a bit of a brawl.
"But it was a good learning fight."
Hodgson's trainer Alan Levene said: "We will look for a Central Area title fight somewhere down the line.
"It was a good win for Bill against a fighter, who had more wins on his record than losses."
Hodgson could well be on a show scheduled for Preston Guild Hall on January 21,