There was English title heartbreak for Northampton super flyweight Nathan Reeve at the Deco on Saturday night.
Craig Derbyshire went home to Doncaster with the St George’s belt after winning a hard 10 round fight on points.
The good-sized crowd warmed to Reeve who fought for most of the fight with blood leaking from a wound on his scalp opened by a clash of heads in the opening minute or so.
He was also nicked on his left eyebrow Reeve said “I couldn’t see after that first cut was opened.
“The blood kept running into my eye.
“My corner talked about pulling me out, but it was a big fight and I had to keep going.”
Reeve rallied superbly in the ninth. Behind on points, he had Derbyshire backing up with an attack to body and head. Derbyshire toughed it out and finished stronger.
John Daly has been in Reeve’s corner since he was a teenage amateur, and said: “I was so proud of him.
“I don’t think too many boxers would have got through the 10 rounds after suffering that cut so early in the fight.
“Nathan showed so much heart.
“There was no way he was going to let anyone pull him out of the fight. He showed so much heart and put on a great performance for everyone.”
Northampton’s Kieron Conway made a good impression on the show.
He really punished Harry Matthews from first bell to last in their four rounder.
Matthews is a seasoned journeyman and had a sizeable weight advantage.
But Conway was all over him and was close to handing Matthews a rare stoppage defeat several times.
He hurt Matthews to the body and stiffened his legs in the last with a left hook
Conway could get a title shot next.
Curtis Felix tuned up for his English title eliminator by dominating MJ Hall, and former Kingsthorpe amateur Leo D’Erlamger missed out on winning the vacant Midlands Area super featherweight title. He retired with an eye injury after three rounds of his clash with Tamworth’s Josh Baillie.