‘Gutted’ Farooq has heart set on rematch
GLASGOW’S Kash Farooq last night demanded a rematch from Edinburgh’s Lee McGregor after losing his British bantamweight title to the Commonwealth champ at the Emirates Arena on Saturday on a controversial split decision.
Two judges delivered a 114-113 scorecard, with one in favour of Farooq and the other voting for McGregor. However, it was the 115-112 verdict for McGregor from Mark Lyson which had punters at ringside and armchair fight fans rubbing their eyes in disbelief, particularly since McGregor had had a point deducted by referee Victor Loughlin in the 10th round for repeated holding.
Many observers felt that McGregor needed a knock-out to come out on top after that and he certainly put in a strong finish but Farooq was stunned when he heard the scores.
“Going into the final round, we thought we had it in the bag,” he said. “But I didn’t come out with all guns blazing or do anything silly.
“I didn’t think I had to win the round, just get through it.
“I feel that I did more than enough to win but my title’s been taken away from me and I’m gutted by that. It’s part and parcel of boxing, though.
“If Lee stays at bantamweight then I want a rematch. However, I don’t expect him to give me one; he’ll either move on or move up a weight.
“Maybe I’ll get him again further down the line but I’m all right – there’s no point in feeling sorry for myself it or crying about it because that’s not going to help me.
“Right now I’m going to take a few days off but then I’ll be back in the gym, back before he is.
“I’ve got the hunger and the fire in my belly.”
Farooq’s manager, Iain Wilson, revealed afterwards that Farooq won’t climb into the ring until April after training for four title fights in the last year.