It was incredible evening of boxing action last Saturday night at the Epsom Downs Racecourse in Surrey, and the stacked fifteen bout line up produced another adrenaline fuelled showcase of fistic talent for the capacity crowd to enjoy. But mixed in with the typical drama and excitement the league's events have become synonymous for was the controversy surrounding the outcome of the main event between challengers Dan Maguire and Nathan Leeson for the competitions vacant British Light Middleweight title.
The fight itself produced one of best contests of the league's 2013 season so far, but when the dust had settled down and the judges had handed in their scorecards declaring the showdown a draw, the announcement was met with passionate disagreement for many inside the arena.The league decided to catch up with both Maguire and Leeson and get their views on the outcome of Saturday's fight, and ask the question, why did you think you won the contest?
QBL: Hi Dan, it's been nearly a week since you and Nathan Leeson battled it out for vacant British Light Middleweight title, and it's fair to say that the result has met with some passionate debate since the result was announced. Talk us through the fight and how you saw it from inside the ring and how did you feel you performed.
DM: In my honest opinion I think I just nicked it and I should have got the decision, but it was a close fight so maybe the draw was a fair result. At the end of the day I'm not going to moan about it as its done now, but the judges could not split us, but there were many people including the Daily Sport's boxing reporter had me winning it so all I can do is box and let others decide what they saw.
QBL: Talk us through the fight and how you feel you performed.
DM: I don't think I performed as well as I could have, and the week before the show I came down with a cold that I feel took the edge off my performance on the night, but I don't like to make excuses, and I still feel I edged it. Performance wise I started a lot quicker than I normally do in my fights and I was catching him cleanly which I could see he didn't like, and in the opening round I was landing my jab easily and scoring with it constantly, which caused some damage around his eye at the end of the first so it was going to plan. In the second I felt again I was controlling the action behind my jab, but I did get frustrated with some of his antics in their which put me off. Over the final three rounds it was closer and he did catch me with shots, but not enough to convince me he was winning the contest. When the final bell went I thought I'd done enough to win it based on my boxing, but the result as we know was given a draw.
QBL: Looking back at the fight now, would you change anything about the game plan, and in a rematch would you do anything differently?
DM: The first thing is I really want a rematch with Nathan and I honestly believe after that fight it will be an easy nights work for me if I stick to my boxing. This is a fight I'm 100% confident of winning, and hopefully the fight will happen again as I want to prove that I deserved to win the contest. In the fight I'll admit I was put off by his antics of sticking his tongue out and talking to me as I'm from an amateur background and that sort of thing really does not happen in the ABA, but it was a good experience and Nathan is not a bad lad at all so lets hope we can do it again.
QBL: Hi Nathan, last Saturday was the night you clearly felt you had done enough to be in possession of the coveted British title, but the judges scoring the contest saw it differently. Talk us through those five rounds of boxing and tell us why you believe you won the fight.
NL: For me it was a shocking decision, and I feel I won four of the five rounds and was a clear winner in that contest. I felt that throughout the whole fight I was the one landing the cleaner shots, I felt I was the aggressor and was bullying him around that ring. He was supposed to be the classier boxer coming into this fight off the back of a lot of amateur experience, but I was out jabbing him, missing his shots and showed without doubt in my mind that I'd bossed the contest so I can't understand how I lost.
QBL: Assess your performance in the fight and what you felt won you the contest.
NL: As I said before I was making him miss the whole fight, it probably looked like I was covered in fairy liquid I was so slick in there, and during the whole fight I knew I was landing the classier shots and my punches were having a much greater effect on him. As a fighter you know when you are doing well and when you are not, and apart from the third round when I took my foot off the gas, which I won't argue that I lost that, all the other rounds were clearly mine. Even after the fight I went over to his corner to congratulate Dan and his team, and I felt by their reaction they knew that I'd won the fight so in my mind I'd won the title.
QBL: Looking forward to a potential rematch, would you do anything differently if you were to face Maguire at the end of this year?
NL: In my mind I don't think other than a knockout it could have been clearer, but I'm looking forward to seeing the fight back on Eurosport and maybe I will change my mind, but I want the rematch with Dan and hopefully I don't have to wait to long.
With the coveted British title still vacant and several questions still ananswered, Maguire Vs Leeson 2 could be the most anticipated rematch in the history of the competition if that contest can be made for later on this season.
Ken Curtis 47 -49 Maguire
Seamus Dunne 47-49 Leeson
Jon Honney 48-48