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No excuses for Isle of Dogs fighter in title bid

PUBLISHED: 15:50 09 October 2008 | UPDATED: 13:41 05 October 2010

By LEN WHALEY MICKEY STEEDS offered no excuses after seeing his latest British title challenge end in failure when he was unanimously outpointed by Rob Norton in Burton on Friday night. Steeds, who unsuccessfully fought for the British heavyweight title

By LEN WHALEY

MICKEY STEEDS offered no excuses after seeing his latest British title challenge end in failure when he was unanimously outpointed by Rob Norton in Burton on Friday night.

Steeds, who unsuccessfully fought for the British heavyweight title against Welsh giant Scott Gammer in 2006, was competing for the cruiserweight belt after shedding 40lbs in the last two years.

But the 25-year-old struggled against Norton, who is 11 years older than Steeds, with the veteran winning a unanimous 119-108, 118-110 and 118-109 verdict from the judges.

The Isle of Dogs fighter later issued an apology to his supporters for a below-par display and vowed to improve in the future.

He said: "I would like to apologise to the fans who supported me - I was very disappointed with my display. It just wasn't there on the night. I know I can do better."

The East End fighter's hopes of a double celebration following the birth of daughter Brook earlier in the week ended in the Meadowside Centre ring as Steeds failed to get to grips with his opponent's awkward southpaw stance.

Norton oozed confidence from the outset but the contest was close during the early rounds as Steeds connected with his best punches of the fight.

Behind a long jab, Norton gradually took control and Steeds reluctantly took a count in the sixth round when he was caught off balance by a cuffing right hand - although it looked more of a push than a punch.

Steeds continued to come forward despite Norton regularly connecting with a chopping left hand and the clash of styles meant that the fight was never easy to watch, with the referee constantly separating the combatants.

Norton opened up as Steeds appeared to tire and despite catching the veteran with some decent straight rights, the Isle of Dogs fighter never did much to follow them up.

Both fighters went for the knockout blow in the closing stages but neither connected, leaving Norton to celebrate the crowning moment of his career.

Trainer Mark Roe accepted that Steeds had failed to produce his best form in Burton but revealed that he has no intention of calling it quits.

"No excuses - Mickey just had a bad night," said Roe. "But he is keen to get back in the gym and box again before the end of the year.

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