John Thain vows to come back stronger after cruel defeat

Ronnie Heffron, left, whinces after taking a punch from Lochend's John Thain
Ronnie Heffron, left, whinces after taking a punch from Lochend's John Thain
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Edinburgh light middleweight boxer John Thain experienced the lows of his first defeat as a professional on Saturday night as he was edged out by Ronnie Heffron in Liverpool by the smallest of margins.

Fighting on the Paul Butler undercard at Aintree Racecourse, the 26-year-old has been left with some grievances after the official declared Englishman Heffron the victor in their ten-round bout by 96 points to Thain’s 95.

The announcement caused quite a reaction, which Thain himself admits he wasn’t expecting from the strong Merseyside crowd. He said: “After every fight you always feel within yourself how you’ve done and I personally believe I won the fight. People I didn’t know were coming up and telling me I had won the fight, all the writers at ringside, TV interviewers, so I see it as a moral victory.

“Everything was good, it was quite even at the halfway stage but I won the last four rounds. I landed the better punches, made him miss a lot and turned him on the ropes.

“But that’s boxing, that’s life. I’ve just got to bite this and continue. It’s a test for me. Is it going to make me stop boxing or am I going to come back and be a champion? I will get better from this. I have got a lot of anger and believe me it is very hard to take. It’s horrible but what else can I do?

“I didn’t want to speak to the judge after as he has his own reasons for scoring the fight the way he did – whatever they may be.”

Clearly still perplexed by the outcome of Saturday’s fight, a loss that prompted Lochend amateur club-mates Josh Taylor and Lewis Benson to express their incredulity on Twitter, Thain maintains he will regroup to focus his energy on what lies ahead and not dwell upon what appears to have been a complete injustice.

He added: “I’m going to have a little rest and enjoy myself for a while and not look back. I’ll be going through to Glasgow on Saturday to support my Loch-end club-mates in the semi-finals of the amateur Scottish Championships. They’ve been excellent to train with so I want to be there for them.”