Jack Sellars fell agonisingly short in his clash against unbeaten Central Area champion Matthew Wigglesworth at the KCOM Stadium, Hull, writes Jacob Kilbride.
The Halifax boxer suffered a narrow 96-95 points defeat over 10 rounds.
Sellars, from Northowram, was ineligible to fight for the title having come in a pound over the 160lb limit at Thursday’s weigh in, but there was certainly no lack of effort on his part, running the champion mighty close.
Although Sellars caught the eye on numerous occasions with clean single shots, the constant work-rate came from Wigglesworth, who retained the title in front of a rapturous home crowd.
Pre-fight, Sellars had spoken of ‘going to war’ with his former sparring partner but in the first round he boxed skillfully on the outside and landed a couple of uppercuts to draw blood from Wigglesworth’s nose.
It didn’t last long, though, as “War Path” Wigglesworth marched forward in the next two rounds. The bout turned ugly and the Hull man looked stronger at close range.
By the mid-point of the fight Sellars had managed to find his range better and the quality work - including a beautiful one-two combination upstairs in the sixth - came from him, though it was often too infrequent.
Sellars’ best success came in the seventh as the pair went blow for blow in the corner, before Sellars forced Wigglesworth to tuck up on the ropes with a barrage a hefty blows seconds before the bell.
The champion proved his status, though, Wigglesworth responding excellently through a series of right hands in rounds eight and nine. Sellars’ glove touched the canvas in the latter of those rounds, but it was ruled as a slip.
A frantic final three minutes ensued as the pair swung every effort until the final bell, concluding a brutally-fought contest.
Referee Kevin Parker raised Wigglesworth’s hand at the end, Sellars losing by the narrowest of margins.