Gary Cornish v Sam Sexton: Scottish heavyweight's historic title bid ended

Gary Cornish could not land a knockout blow on Sam Sexton
Inverness heavyweight Gary Cornish could not land a knockout blow on Sam Sexton

Inverness boxer Gary Cornish failed in his bid to become the first Scot to win the British heavyweight title when he lost on points to Norwich's Sam Sexton.

All three judges gave Sexton, 33, the verdict despite a spirited effort by Cornish, who finished the stronger.

Cornish's only previous defeat was by Anthony Joshua when the pair fought for 89 seconds in London two years ago.

But Sexton clinched the vacant title as the judges at Edinburgh's Meadowbank scored it 114-116, 113-116, 114-115.

Roared on by a boisterous crowd, the 30-year-old Highlander took the fight to Sexton from the first bell although neither boxer was able to land a clean blow.

However, a clash of heads in round one led to the corner having to provide some quick remedial work to a slight cut above Cornish's left eye.

Sam Sexton with his coaching team
Sam Sexton slings the British heavyweight belt over his shoulder to pose with his coaching team

Sexton had lost only three times in 26 previous bouts but it was Cornish, with a height and reach advantage and being one stone heavier, who began to take control.

In the fifth round Cornish had Sexton on the ropes after a stunning right hook that had the crowd on their feet, urging the Scot to try to finish the fight early.

Sexton recovered well and in round six caught Cornish with a punch that rocked him on to his heels.

Both men tired in the eighth round and the fight became scrappy. At one point referee Victor Laughlin had to warn Cornish after he punched his opponent in the back of the head as he turned away.

Five of Sexton's last seven fights had gone the distance and his stamina was certainly in evidence in round nine as he began to pile on the pressure.

In the final round it was evident both boxers were exhausted, but on the bell Cornish had the Englishman on the ropes, though he had not done enough to halt Sexton winning the British heavyweight belt.

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