John Thain rues timing of title fight – but proud of his efforts

John Thain has vowed to bounce back
John Thain has vowed to bounce back
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Edinburgh boxer John Thain says not having more time to prepare cost him the chance of being crowned the new British welterweight champion.

The 29-year-old lost by an unanimous decision as Englishman Bradley Skeete successfully retained the Lonsdale Belt at the Brentwood Centre in Essex on Friday night.

But Thain was not overawed by the occasion and turned in a useful performance despite the judges’ scorecards reading 118-111, 118-111, 116-112 in his opponent’s favour.

And the Scot believes had the offer of the fight arrived sooner than the end of last month, he would have stood a better chance of returning home to the Capital as the new champion.

“I only really had three weeks hard training so I didn’t have the usual eight or nine weeks to prepare,” Thain explained. “I’m glad I took it though and if I could go back again, I wouldn’t turn it down as it was a great opportunity and worth my while. Who knows, against a lesser fighter it might have been enough. I think I just needed that bit more time.

“The positives I can take is that I completed my first 12-round fight and it was a good showing in his backyard. I think I can become a better fighter from the experience. I believe I can still win it one day. Skeete’s rated very highly in the sanction bodies IBF, WBO and WBA and he has some very good names on his record. I knew I was up against it but I’ve just got to come back from it. I needed three stitches afterwards to my left eye but I’m okay.”

Thain has no intention of calling time on the sport though, and intends to come back stronger next year.

“I don’t want to give up and in some ways I think I’ve made a wee name for myself taking the fight and showing I can compete at this level,” he said. “If I never ever boxed again I’d know I managed to complete a 12-rounder against a very good champion.”