CASTLEFORD professional boxer Luke ‘Lionheart’ Robinson’s gave a gritty display in a British master middleweight title fight at Whitwick, near Leicester.
The 23-year-old (pictured) was “gutted” after he controversially lost on points to 30-year-old local favourite Matt Hainy in a top of the bill clash at Hermitage Leisure Centre.
Robinson took the fight to his opponent from the first bell and kept up the pace throughout.
The Castleford fighter dominated the first six rounds and his stiff jab caused a cut over Hainey’s eyebrow in the second round.
All the accurate punches were landed by Robinson until rounds seven and eight when Hainy began to find his range.
With the vast majority of the 900-strong crowd behind him, British ranked number nine Hainy went toe to toe with Robinson in round nine. Hainey suffered damage to his left cheekbone and Robinson was marking up round both eyes.
Neither man took a backward step in a barnstorming 10th round and near the end of the round Hainy’s gum shield was sent flying by a vicious shot to the chin.
It seemed Robinson’s valiant efforts would be rewarded but Midlands referee Terry O’Connor scored it 96-95 to Hainy.
Mark Bateson, Robinson’s manager, said: “The people of Castleford should be proud of this lad. He is a true sportsman who behaved with dignity despite the controversy of the verdict. Anyone neutral knows he was robbed.”
Robinson said: “I could not have given any more. Obviously, the home crowd influenced the ref. I thought I did enough to win but Hainy is like me a true ring warrior. I am gutted but I’ll be back.”
Robinson thanked the coachload of supporters who followed him on his big day.