Impressive Kevin Hooper 'bridged the gap'
TRAINER Julian McGowen believes the English super-featherweight title clash between Kevin Hooper and Gary Sykes was much closer than the scorecard suggested.
The 41-year-old – who first coached Sykes in 1999, before reuniting with the Yorkshireman as he turned pro – was part of the 'Five Star' outfit that reigned in Humberston on Friday.
Despite helping to end Hooper's unbeaten record, McGowen told the Telegraph: "Kevin performed really well and can take a lot of heart from the fight.
"There are lots of unbeaten fighters who have 'padded' records, so when it comes to stepping up they are unable to bridge the gap – but Kevin was able to do that.
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"It was a good, close fight but Kevin was probably three or four points down in the end.
"Gary probably won seven rounds. But, most of them were very close, which made Gary's victory seem more one-sided than it actually was.
"The score doesn't tell the story of the fight. It was very competitive and Kevin put on a good show in front of his home support."