BOXING: ‘He was the best I’ve been in the ring with’
GARETH Heard says that he doesn’t feel like a loser after his defeat at the hands of talented former Commonwealth Games medallist Bradley Saunders on Monday.
The 30-year-old, from Bradford on Avon, suffered the second defeat of his professional career as he was taken apart by Saunders, who won a silver medal in the light-welterweight category at Dehli 2012, in front of the TV cameras at a prestigious dinner show at the Lancaster London hotel.
The Contender Gym’s Heard was knocked down twice in the fourth round before retiring and rates Durham fighter Saunders, 27, as a future world champion.
“I like to say it how it is – he was the best guy that I’ve ever been in the ring with and that includes anyone that I’ve sparred with,” said Heard.
“I’ve never been taken apart like that and I’d put my mortgage on him going on to be a world champion. He was the real deal and I was shellshocked, to be honest.
“I went down the first time just to figure out what I was going to do and then I just decided to stay down because there was no point in getting beaten up.
“I took the fight at short notice and I actually feel like I’ve only gained from it. I’ve earned a lot of credit and I think that people recognise just how good he was.
“The whole evening was great too and there were so many big names there.”
The only real negative for Heard is that his defeat by stoppage means that he won’t be allowed to box on this month’s Trowbridge bill against Welshman Leon Findlay.
He added: “Because I was stopped, it means that I can’t fight for 28 days, which is the only thing that I’m upset about – it’s a real shame.”
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