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James Fryers vows to bounce back after points defeat

By David Kelly

James Fryers was left "gutted" after he controversially lost his British super-featherweight title eliminator to Maxi Hughes on a split decision at the Europa Hotel on Saturday night.

The Belfast man felt he had done more than enough to deserve the decision and subsequently move on to challenge for the Lonsdale belt, but two judges had it 96-94 and 97-93 in favour of Hughes, while the other gave it to Fryers 98-93.

Fryers, who had to soak up a couple of nasty low blows, is determined to return and prove he belongs at British title level.

"At the moment I'm just gutted with the decision but at the same time I showed that this is the level I need to be fighting at. I don't want to go backwards, I want to keep pushing on," said Fryers.

"Even Maxi seemed to think he had lost, I saw his face at the end and he thought he was beaten - you could see it when the decision was given his way. I wouldn't mind a re-match, but I'll sit down with my coaches and manager and see where I go from here."

Derry's Tyrone McCullagh stopped Antons Zacests at 1:43 of the first round. Zacests was dropped by a body shot early on and a flurry of blows had him down again before referee Paul McCullagh called a halt. Commonwealth Games silver medallist Joe Fitzpatrick opened the show with a 47-second victory over poor Latvian Ruslans Berdimuradovs.

Other results: Featherweight: James Tennyson bt Antonio Horvatic rsc1; light: Paul Hyland Jnr bt Jacek Wylezol 59-55; Feargal McCrory bt Peter Mellar 40-36.

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