Tony Hill’s British title hopes were dealt a stunning blow as he lost his eliminator against Kerry Hope on a majority points decision.
The 25-year-old Southampton middleweight was outworked by his Welsh opponent and a crucial knockdown in the last round proved to be decisive.
Ian John-Lewis scored the ten round contest level at 95-95 each, Steve Gray had Hope a clear 98-93 winner but Richie Davies edged Hope 96-94, meaning he had it dead level until the last.
In that round Hill opened up knowing he probably needed a good last three minutes to clinch the verdict, but got caught with a wild left hand that saw him touchdown and receive the count.
Had Hill won that last round in Bolton, even just edging it, then he would have won the fight and been next in line to box for the British title.
However, the result was fair and there is little doubt that Hope’s extra work rate earned him a victory.
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