Sheffield/Derbyshire boxing: Brave Lee loses

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Killamarsh scrapper Lee Connelly couldn’t find a way to improve his record against talented Joe Costello last night.

He was on the wrong end of a 39-37 points result at the Civic Hall, Wolverhampton.

Connelly, a car mechanic in Unstone near Dronfield, is a good benchmark for unbeaten prospects but did not have enough to get the verdict on the Frank Warren show.

He now moves on to compete for the Central Area super featherweight title on September 6, against Andy Townend at Doncaster Dome.

Connelly now has a won 3 (KO 0) + lost 7 (KO 1) + drawn 1 record.

* Southpaw Frankie Gavin was sent back to the drawing board as he was methodically bludgeoned to a split decision loss by classy European welterweight champion Leonard Bundu on the top of the bill.

The unbeaten Birmingham star looked out of his depth early on as Bundu’s vast experience and technical aptitude saw him a step ahead.

Gavin seemed to find his feet in the early middle rounds but was floored by a body shot in the sixth and despite showing huge heart and flashes of skill, never recovered en route to a first professional loss which could have been much wider.

Gavin, the only Briton to ever win a world amateur title, was making the step up having already established himself as the British and Commonwealth champion and in truth had his long-term sights set on world honours.

However, victory at the Civic Hall was far from a foregone conclusion for the 19-0 prospect (12KO wins).

Bundu, born in Sierra Leone but based in Italy, boasted a proud unbeaten record of 30 wins and two draws on his ledger coming in, and the 39-year-old’s tally of just 11 early wins did not do him justice.

The Brummie lost the first three rounds as Bundu landed the more effective shots.

The local man was finding European waters deeper than he had anticipated but showed signs - albeit too fleetingly - that the task might not be beyond him.

The fourth was by far his best as he calmed himself down and kept his composure.

But he was down in the sixth from a crushing right to the body which saw him crumple to the canvas. He dug deep, however, to rise with the count at nine and see the bell.

Bundu sensed blood and waged war with Gavin, cut around one eye, under heavy fire but roared on by a partisan midlands crowd.

The end looked imminent but again Gavin survived. Belgian referee Daniel van der Wiele should arguably have stopped the fight as the onslaught went on but Gavin somehow survived into the ninth.

He may have even won the last three rounds - the last was perhaps his best - before scores of 114-113 by two judges, against 117-115 to Gavin by their colleague, ensured Bundu kept his crown and added Gavin’s Commonwealth belt.

“I’m gutted,” Gavin said.

“I thought I won it and even Bundu told me I’d won. I haven’t lost a fight in nine years as an amateur or pro so it’s hard to take.

“But hopefully he’ll vacate the belt and fight for a world title and I can rebuild and fight for the European again.”