BOXING: Night loses its Sheen for Heard

Wiltshire Times: Gareth Heard looks stunned as referee Jeff Hinds gives the verdict to opponent Keith Sheen (48609-7) Gareth Heard looks stunned as referee Jeff Hinds gives the verdict to opponent Keith Sheen (48609-7)

GARETH Heard insists he isn’t a sore loser and that he simply wasn’t beaten by Keith Sheen in Bath.

The 31-year-old was on the end of a controversial 39-38 decision against Halesowen man Sheen, despite appearing in control throughout at the Forum last Saturday.

Heard, who revealed that his promoter PJ Rowson has lodged an official complaint against referee Jeff Hinds, was blown away by official Hinds’ decision to condemn him to the third defeat of his professional career.

The Bradford on Avon man says even his officially victorious opponent Sheen agreed that the wrong fighter’s arm was lifted at the end of their bout.

“I was shocked and it’s left a really sour taste – I can’t understand how all those people in there on Saturday thought that I won and one person thought I didn’t,” said Heard.

“Before the fourth round, Mark (Kent, trainer) said to me that the only thing he could do to win was knock me out but I still went at him. He was trying to throw combinations but I haven’t got a mark on me.

“When Nigel Turner (ring announcer) looked at the decision before he read it out, his face screwed up and I thought it was going to be a draw. Then when I heard 39-38, I thought ‘surely I won it easier than that?’.

“I couldn’t believe it and even Keith Sheen said to me afterwards ‘sorry mate, I don’t make the decisions’.

“I’m not a sore loser – I just want what’s fair.

“I lost to Bradley Saunders (in October last year), who’s the top prospect in British boxing, so I’m not too worried about that, but now I’ve got a loss on my record that I don’t deserve.

“My promoter PJ told me on Monday that he’d be putting a complaint in against the referee but it won’t change the decision.”

There was also disappointment for Melksham heavyweight Luke Martin as he was out-pointed by Wakefield’s James Oliphant.

The 29-year-old’s fearsome haymakers failed to find the mark as he slipped to a 39-38 loss.

At the top of the bill, Bristol’s Danny Butler claimed an emphatic stoppage victory over Leicester’s Martin Concepcion to hold on to Nick Blackwell’s former English middleweight title.

Bath’s Mike Rose delighted his home crowd by eking out a patient victory over Czech fighter Jan Balog.

Malmesbury’s Joe Hughes lifted the International Masters light-welterweight belt after beating Bulgarian opponent Kristian Dochev while there were wins for Tom Duff, from Guernsey, and Pete Leworthy and Jason Gardiner, from Bristol.

MORE SPORTS NEWS & PICTURES IN FRIDAY'S WILTSHIRE TIMES

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