The saying goes ‘you need the knock out to get a draw in Germany’. So when fight fans seen Phillip Sutcliffe Jr lost a majority draw decision to European #2 Anthony Yigit in Hamburg last month they were only keen to scream ‘robbery’.
However, Sutcliffe’s father and coach has revealed the former Senior Amateur champion wasn’t hard done by, by the 77-75, 76-76, 77-75 scorecard.
The Crumlin BC boss and former coach of Willie ‘Big Bang’ Casey does feel the Dubliner shaded a close fight, but was honest enough to suggest a tight affair could have gone either way.
“He wasn’t robbed,” Sutcliff snr told Irish-boxing.com.
“The fight was a close fight. He started off very slow I still thought he did enough to win. Yigit stole a lot of rounds, not in terms of work rate or number of punches landed, he just just threw in one or two eye catching shots for the judges to pick up on.
“In fairness to him he was tricky and tricky to pin down, but some of that was down to Philip too. He only had 10 days notice for the fight and we still were not sure until the final week that we were going to be flying to Germany. I couldn’t have told you what hotel we were staying in three days before we went out,” he added.
Some fight fans claimed Sutcliffe wasn’t helped the referee and could have used his power to make sure of victory if he was allowed to work up close.
His coach believes he did hurt Yigit on more than one occasion, but stressed the Crumlin BC graduate lost because he didn’t produce his best and not due to any officiating.
“I think he hurt him a few times, but Yigit was tough. You could say if Phillip had the energy he would have taken him out. It was more a case of he under performed than he was out done. If the fight was in Ireland he would have got the nod. One the German judges gave it a draw and that says it all. If anything it was four rounds a fight, but if you were looking to who forced the fight it was ‘Young Phil’,” he added before pointing out that running the European #2 so close in Germany without being in peak form says a lot in terms of what a top form Sutcliffe can do.
“If you get that close in Germany without being at your best I think that says a lot. If Phil would have had a proper camp, I know he was sparring Anthony Crolla, and doing well by the way, but it wasn’t a set camp where he was focused on a date or opponent, I think he might not have needed his best to beat Yigit. Phil was devastated after, but those facts mean he has picked up, he knows he is at elite European level.”
The fact ‘Succo’ lost might mean he won’t have to take a short notice clash to try and make the break through going forward. Those fighters, who avoided him at all costs over the last few years, may no consider fighting the big puncher and that’s another positive his coach and father takes from the fight.
“He can only go up, he can’t go down. Fella’s won’t be afraid to fight Young Phil. So it might open doors. I hope he is out in August so he could a win under his belt. There is a chance he could get a European title shot, but he has to get a win under his belt first. We will leave that up to Pat Magee.”