James Tennyson came up short in his brave bid to claim the IBF World title in Boston on Saturday night after he was stopped by Tevin Farmer in the fifth round.
The Belfast super-featherweight had survived being put down by a vicious body punch in the fourth but he was floored by another body shot in the fifth from the fast and elusive American.
Tennyson was trying to get back up from the knockdown but the referee called off the fight without giving an eight count.
It was a strange decision because even though Tennyson was hurt this was a World title fight and he should have been given every chance to fight on as these opportunities don’t come along to often.
Tennyson’s manager Mark Dunlop was not impressed with the referee’s call.
“It was an awful decision and the fight was stopped too early. James was hurt but he has been in worse positions and got up to win the fights.
“He was getting back up and the referee didn’t even give him a count. This is a world title fight and he should have been given a chance. But James did himself, his family and Belfast proud.
“He is only 25 years of age so he will be back. We are gutted because the referee stopped the fight to early,” he added.
“Farmer was good but James was starting to get to him and that was the plan.”
And trainer Tony Dunlop also did not agree with the referee stopping the fight.
“It was a diabolical decision. Yes James was hurt but he was hurt more badly by Martin J Ward from a body shot and he got up and won the fight.
“The referee was too quick in stopping the fight. James always starts slowly and he comes on strong. I thought he was starting to get to Farmer and then the referee jumps in and stops the fight.
“We are devastated but James is still young and he will come back from this and win a world title,” added Dunlop.
And Farmer said they had targeted Tennyson’s body in preparation for the clash.
“We watched the tapes before the fight and knew that he had a high guard so we went to the body.
“He is tall and lean so there is room to get to the body.
“I was very accurate with my shots to the body and I got the job done.
“Ask Lou [DiBella] who’s next. I’m the champion, who wants me? I will fight whoever they put in front of me and that is a fact.
“I am pleased to have won the fight and I am delighted to have retained my belt.”
In an IBF Featherweight World title eliminator Kid Galahad saw off Toka Kahn Clary on points - 118-100, 118-100 and 115-113.
That means Galahad should be next in line to face the winner of the IBF World title clash between Carl Frampton and Josh Warrington in Manchester on December 22.
Galahad said: “I got the win but am disappointed I didn’t stop him.
“I don’t think Frampton will beat Warrington but if he does he will vacate the title rather than fight me.
“He did it before with Guillermo Rigondeaux and he will do it again. I would love that fight.”
Super-Featherweight Scott Quigg stopped Mario Briones in the second round. Quigg said he would love to fight the winner of Warrington versus Frampton.
“I believe I can be a world champion again.
“I would love to fight the winner and I would fight either of them. And I think that will be a competitive fight between the two of them.”