Jay Byrne flirted with middleweight success in Manchester on Saturday night, but ultimately came out second best in a VIP Contender semi final.
The Dubliner took a relatively late notice slot in the middleweight tournament and moved up in weight hoping to secure, what is said to be, a sizable cash prize for the overall winner.
‘The Negotiator’ stepped in as a replacement for Marc Kerr, the man he beat to claim the BBBofC Celtic title in Scotland last November, but the fighter who successfully defended that championships of Wales, Scotland and Ireland in March couldn’t register another impressive on the road victory.
The 32-year-old did compete well in a high octane and entertaining four round contest, but lost out as the referee scored the fight 39-38 in John Telford’s favour.
Manchester native, whose ring moniker is the unique ‘Put ’em in the boot’, most likely won the second round clear, but outside that each stanza was difficult to call.
In the end the ref scored one even, one to Byrne and two to the man who will go on to compete in the final of a competition set up to honour the memory of the late Phil Martin.
Telford will now meet undefeated Lancashire southpaw Kyle Lomotev in Decembers decider.
Speaking before the clash Byrne, who has won titles at bout welterweight and light middleweight, told Irish-boxing.com he hopes to be out in October.
Whether that is on a Sam Kynoch show in Scotland or one of the Belfast October shows remains to be seen.
He has the option of defending his BBBofC Celtic title, but also revealed he had been in talks to fight Chris Blaney for the middleweight Irish title.
The BUI felt there was too much of a size discrepancy between a Dubliner, who has competed between 147 and 154 pounds and the Meath fighter, who has only been seen at super middle, so elected against sanctioning that clash.
However, it may be an option now that Byrne has had four competitive middleweight rounds under his belt.
“I want to get a fight in October and maybe early November if possible at either middle or back at light middle,” Byrne told Irish-boxing.com.
The result see’s Byrne slip to 9(2)-7(2) while Telford improves his slate to 10(2)-2(0)-1.