LIAM Walsh tasted defeat for the first time in the professional ranks on Saturday night when tough Scotsman Stuart Green inflicted a narrow points defeat at North Bridge Leisure Centre, Halifax.
There was huge disappointment and a few boos when the referee raised Green’s arm at the end of eight gruelling rounds.
Some seasoned watchers felt the contest hinged on the final round, which the Halifax man appeared to have the better of, but the official scored it 77-76 in favour of Green.
Walsh, who had won his previous nine contests and was topping the bill for the first time, had the fight’s best moments. He bloodied his opponent’s nose and sent his gum shield flying in the third as well as rocking Green in the last round.
However, the Glenrothes fighter maintained a furious pace throughout and landed more solid shots than Walsh, who had been hoping to move towards a top 10 place in the lightweight rankings.
Walsh’s coach Chris Aston felt his man had done enough to win and doesn’t believe the loss will affect his man’s career.
“It’s not a setback really. We were looking at area titles and can still go down that route,” said Aston.
“The outcome was open to debate and we wouldn’t mind a rematch with Stuart Green over 10 rounds to settle the issue.”
Walsh’s loss was the only setback for the Calderdale fighters on the bill with Richard Bitner, Shuzzy Hussein and Scott Gladwin all taking another step forward.
Welterweight Bitner came through a tricky test against Welshman Sean Gorman, who like him had won his previous two fights.
Bitner did much of the pressing and took one or two solid shots moving in but his efforts in the last of the four rounds, when he hurt Gorman, earned him a 39-38 success.
Hussein’s scrap - the fourth on the six fight bill - was the only one not to go the distance.
Hussein showed little in the early stages of a fight scheduled for six two minute rounds but he caught his lighter opponent Joe Jones with a solid left to the body.
The Welshman sunk to the canvas and just failed to make it back to his feet in time, being counted out after 53 seconds of round two.
Bantamweight Gladwin, Huddersfield debutant Ismail Anwar and Castleford’s well-supported Nathan Owens all continued their education against journeymen professionals.
They don’t come much more experienced than 43-year-old Delroy Spencer from Wolverhampton, who has lost the vast majority of his 150-plus fights.
Southpaw Gladwin comfortably accounted for him by 40-36 but there was only the odd deep thud of a good punch landed throughout a fairly low-key contest.
Nuneaton’s Kristian Laight has had 130 fights and he gave a good workout to Anwar, who edged the verdict 39-38 in their lightweight contest.
Owens looked to be taking a chance facing Hastings Rasani, a Zimbabwean now fighting out of Birmingham, as he was conceding almost two stones to the cruiserweight.
However, the promising Owens landed some good shots in the early stages of the contest and comfortably made it three wins out of three by 40-37.