Devine wants a rematch with Connor

Michael Devine
Michael Devine
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Luton boxer Michael Devine has called on Steve Goodwin to fix a rematch with Danny Connor for the vacant British Masters Lightweight title after Saturday’s grudge match ended early as a technical draw.

The rivals topped the bill in a packed York Hall for the belt, which also doubled-up as a final eliminator for the Southern Area strap.

But after sustaining a cut above his right eye, Connor was declared unable to continue, with each of the fighters returning home empty-handed.

Devine said: “It’s disappointing the way it ended.

“It was being talked about as one of the small-hall, domestic fights of the year, and it didn’t look like it was going to disappoint.

“We sold a lot of tickets for it and so did Danny. And that was the first thing I noticed when I walked out.

“It was one of the best atmospheres I’ve ever been involved in in my professional career. The place was jumping.

“I’m more disappointed for everyone who bought a ticket because it was a great rivalry, a great title on the line and we’d both had strong training camps coming into it.

“We both came out strong in the opening rounds, too, and everyone I spoke to after agreed that it was shaping up to be an absolute classic.

“It wasn’t hard to see how much interest there was in this fight. So hopefully if the demand is there again for it, we can get something sorted and get straight back in there.”

With some animosity shared between the pair in the build-up, the Luton boxer was keen to come out and match Connor in the opening round, and traded punches early on before the contest was stopped following a clash of heads.

Devine, a former winner of the Southern Area belt at super featherweight, believes that he was set to continue to claim his third title, had it not been for Connor’s injury.

He is now keen to discuss organising a new bout with his opponent to pay back everyone who supported him on the weekend.

Devine added: “As we expected, Danny worked hard and came out strongly.

“There wasn’t any real surprises there from our point of view. We did our homework on him and knew that he had a good jab.

“But I’m confident that if we would have carried on, I would have won.

“I had a great training camp and I could feel it paying-off from the moment I stepped into the ring.

“Mentally, too, I was sound and was absolutely buzzing when I walked-out and looked across at how much support I had.

“Unfortunately these things can happen, but hopefully something can be agreed and sorted as soon as possible because I want to bring that title back to Luton and then begin to step-up and move on with my career.”