Chris Bourke suffered a first career defeat as he was outpointed by Marc Leach for the vacant British super-bantamweight title.
The Streatham fighter took to social media after the bout at Bethnal Green’s York Hall to reveal he had broken his nose and also his hand in the third round.
Bourke (10-1, six KOs) showed bravery to stay on the front foot despite his face being heavily marked up at the end, with a significant swelling under his left eye.
Leach (18-1-1, four KOs) won by scores of 117-111, 116-112 and 116-113.
Former world champion Carl Frampton, on punditry duty, was left unhappy that the cards were so close.
Congratulations @marc_leach who was the better man tonight Unfortunately I suffered a broken hand and nose from the 3rd round onwards. Gutted but i’ll be back Thanks for the incredible messages and support The atmosphere was amazing #TeamBourke @frankwarren_tv @BTSportBoxing
— Chris Bourke (@C_Bourke94) March 12, 2022
“I said at the start that you couldn’t hit him with a handful of rice – I don’t think you could hit him with two handfuls of rice,” said Frampton. “He’s really elusive.
“That almost could’ve been a shutout. There was one round that I scored level and I gave everything else to Leach. We have to give Bourke credit for being so brave and tough in the fight – but you don’t win rounds by coming forward and not landing.
“The judges will get away with it – because the right man got his hand raised. But Terry O’Connor – 116-113 – and Bob Williams – 116-112 – what is happening here? That is wrong and I don’t understand how it was so close.
“I didn’t even see where you’d give him three rounds. Round four I scored level. But anything else was for Leach.”