Fa­rooq eyes re­match as judges leave bit­ter taste

Scottish Daily Mail - - Boxing - By EWING GRA­HAME

KASH FA­ROOQ last night de­manded a re­match from Ed­in­burgh’s Lee McGre­gor after los­ing his Bri­tish ban­tamweight ti­tle to the Com­mon­wealth champ 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 tenth round for re­peated hold­ing. Many ob­servers felt that McGre­gor needed a knock­out to come out on top after that and he cer­tainly put in a strong fin­ish but Fa­rooq (above) was stunned when he heard the scores. ‘Go­ing into the fi­nal round, we thought we had it in the bag but I didn’t come out with all guns blaz­ing or do any­thing silly,’ he said. ‘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. But 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.’ Scot­tish fight leg­end Jim Watt was equally con­fused at the fi­nal out­come. Sit­ting ring­side, he thought Fa­rooq came out on top in the gru­elling bout. ‘I had Fa­rooq three points up. I scored the fight seven rounds to five to Fa­rooq and then the point de­duc­tion made it a fur­ther point, so I had him by three points,’ said Watt. ‘I’m quite sur­prised about the ver­dict, to be hon­est. One of the judges had given McGre­gor eight rounds, eight of the 12 rounds. I can’t fathom that in the slight­est, I can’t see how that can hap­pen. ‘The qual­ity box­ing was com­ing from Fa­rooq. I mean McGre­gor put his heart and soul into it, you can’t fault the young man, but I thought he was out­boxed. ‘The de­fen­sive box­ing of Fa­rooq was bril­liant at times and his punch pick­ing was ter­rific. ‘I thought he had the fight won by the ninth round but McGre­gor did come back in the later rounds with his strength. ‘If you scored the fight close, fair enough, but whether you had it close or not so close, I had Fa­rooq winning it. ‘I’m sure Fa­rooq would like to see a re­match, it was a ter­rific fight. And, of course, ev­ery­one who was here tonight would love to see a re­match. ‘I don’t know if he’ll get that or not. I would imag­ine McGre­gor would be look­ing at else­where, maybe for a Euro­pean ti­tle or some­thing. ‘When you go through a fight like that, if you’re the win­ner, you’re not in too much of a hurry to go through it again. ‘It was a great fight, there was non-stop ac­tion from the first bell to the last. I’d love to see it again.’

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