Boris will be back after loss in Commonwealth Games box-off

Byron Boxing Club fighter Boris Crighton thinks he has unfinished business in the amateur ranks after losing a box-off for a place at the Commonwealth Games next year.

Crighton lost by unanimous decision after he and Sean Lazzerini – who also beat him to this year’s Scottish title – battled it out for the 81kg (light heavyweight) berth on Team Scotland for the Gold Coast 2018 Games in Australia.

The 24-year-old now intends to take some time away from the bags to plot his course to a major multi-sport competition – maybe with Team GB.

Crighton said: “It’s been a long, hard year of training and travelling around. I’ve not really had a lot of time to spend with the family.

“So I’ll enjoy some time with them and some time off,

“Then we’ll decide in the new year whether I’m staying amateur or going pro.

“I got here because of the team of people I have with me, so I need to make sure they are all involved in the decision.

“I dont want to make any rash decisions, especially after coming off of a loss of this kind.

“For me, I’m leaning towards staying amateur, to win the Scottish, go on and win the British, then have a chance again at Team GB, which is a massive target for me.”

He won’t be resting too much, though, and, despite staying away from the boxing gym, he’ll be keeping up strength and conditioning and cardio.

Crighton took heart from the closeness of the box-off, saying it’s a shame he and Lazzerini can’t both travel to the Games, as they’re so evenly matched.

He thinks changing his tactics in the match cost him.

He said: “It was a tough fight and I think it was a close fight all the way. I was in it every round, never out of it.

“Both of us fought really well and the better man won on the night. It’s as simple as that.

“It’s obviously a hard loss to take considering what was at stake. But I gave it all I could give and it wasn’t my hand to be raised at the end of the night.”

Across the three three-minute rounds, Crighton thought he failed to adequately utilise his range, staying too close to Lazzerini.

He said: “I think every round was very close. He just landed a few bigger shots that took the rounds away from me throughout the fight.

“He’s quite a heavy handed guy and I think I gave him the fight he wanted a little bit.

“I boxed a bit too close. I should have taken a step back and boxed a little bit more from distance.

“He just stole it with a few bigger shots that he landed. All credit to him.

“But every round was close – I hurt him with some good body shots. I could have capitalised on that a little bit more.

“But he’s a good fighter, he adapted and adjusted as the rounds went on.”

Although he’s disappointed he strayed from his usual style, Crighton said the pressure of fighting for the adventure of a lifetime.

He said: “Situations like that don’t really faze me.

“Last year, at the Best of Britain, I fought against a Team GB boxer and came out victorious.

“If you want to go to the Commonwealth Games, you’re going to expect be in those sorts of situations.

“You need to know how to control your nerves and handle it.

That’s exactly what I did, I went in and done the job, but sometimes when you’re in the ring that can get the best of you.

“I went out there, tried too much to impress. I was doing what my coaches were telling me to do, but at the same time it would have been good to take a step back and do what I normally do and box the way I normally box. I kind of changed the way I boxed, which maybe hurt me a little bit.”

It’s been a whirlwind year for Crighton, who has been with the Scotland set-up for three years now.

He has already travelled to Australia for a camp, as well as tournaments in Finland and Poland, fighting Dutch double Olympian Peter Mullenberg along the way.

In 2016, Crighton won the British Elite title, before triumphing in a Best of Britain match against Team GB fighter Tom Whittaker-Hart.