Speight slams points verdict after title epic goes distance
JAMIE SPEIGHT has slammed the decision of referee Grant Wallis to hand a points verdict to Jon Fernandes, after the two met for the Southern Area super bantamweight crown last Friday.
Speight lost 97-95 to Fernandes in the title bout at Southampton's Guildhall – missing out on the chance to become a Southern Area champion in two different weight divisions.
The Southampton man was fighting in front of a partisan home crowd and had his arm lifted by Wallis despite being deducted a point for successive low blows.
"It was an awful decision," said Speight.
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"It's not just my view but also my supporters' and even some of the Southampton fans had it in my favour.
"I couldn't believe it really, it's horrible.
"When I first got the decision it broke my heart – you don't want losses on your record, but especially when you've put so much into it.
"I caught him with a few good shots but he kept grabbing hold of me.
"He had a point deducted because of low blows, and just kept hitting me low down.
"He also kept grabbing me and not letting go – at one point he went to hit me with a right and I slipped the shot and caught him with a peach of a left hook.
"He wobbled but then just grabbed both my arms and wouldn't let go. And the ref wasn't doing enough about it.
"In my head I won rounds three, five, eight, nine and 10 and he had a point deducted, which makes it six rounds to four to me."
It was another defeat on the road for Speight, who lost to Ben Jones in Brighton earlier this year, and in Cleethorpes in his British Masters fight against Kevin Hooper.
Speight admitted not having the backing of a regular promoter in Devon was making progress difficult, but said that could change if his sponsor Steve Horn of Tees Events gains a promoters' licence.
"When you're not promoted it's hard – you have to be on the road and I can't pick and choose," said Speight.
"Nine times out of 10 you're going to be the away fighter, but with my sponsor hoping to get his licence I'm hoping to get more fights on home turf.
"I just don't see what else I can do – I'm punching harder now than I've ever punched in my whole career.
"But on Friday the shots didn't seem to have the same power as they have had in training.
"But when I did catch him he was all over the place. You could see that he wasn't comfortable.
"At one point I hit him with a combination and he didn't go near me for a minute and a half. He was just running."
Speight also believes that the system of title fights being scored by the referee is outdated and should be replaced by three ringside judges.
He said: "It's unfair for the ref to score 10 rounds of professional boxing as well as watching everything else that's going on in the ring."
Speight is now weighing up his options for the future, and hinted that some overseas training could be on the cards. Despite the defeat, he said he has no regrets about dropping to super bantamweight.
He added: "I'm happy at super bantamweight, I'm just not happy with that result. It's a case of homeboy gets it again, but I've just got to stand tall and be ready to go again."