Belfast bantamweight James McGivern was the victim of a highly dubious decision on the opening day of the European Youth Championships in Anapa, Russia.
The St George’s boxer, who won silver at last year’s tournament, faced home fighter Vladimir Strygin and seemingly dominated over the three rounds.
The Commonwealth Youth gold medalist showed all the slickness and elusiveness that had Mick Conlan describe him to irish-boxing.com as “a ghost,” and scored countless counters on the Russian. Indeed, so dominant was McGivern, he was able to throw in an Ali shuffle in the final round in honour of the recently deceased boxing legend.
The IABA website scored the bout 30-26 in favour of the Irishman, but two of the selected judges at ringside gave it to Strygin who took the bout on a split-decision.
While disappointed, the mature McGivern feels that “these things can make or break you.”
“Everyone here knows I won the fight and I’ve been told by several important people that I won,”
For the driven youngster, who has Tokyo 2020 ambitions, his thoughts have immedietly turned towards a return to Russia for the World Championships in St. Petersburg this November, and stated that “I’ll be back again, Worlds at the end of the year.”
“I dare anyone to try and get in my way.”
Rewatch the bout here (from 1hour 9minutes):