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Hornchurch’s Hefford vows to bounce back

Hornchurch's John Hefford in National middleweight title action against Kieran Leinster (pic: Samantha Wordie) Hornchurch's John Hefford in National middleweight title action against Kieran Leinster (pic: Samantha Wordie)

Thursday, February 13, 2014
3:00 PM

First defeat leaves fighter more determined

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Hornchurch middleweight John Hefford says his first defeat has only strengthened his desire for success in the UK’s Queensbury Boxing League.

Hefford, 26, was stopped in dramatic fashion by fellow challenger Kieran Leinster at the start of the fourth round of their clash for the vacant national title.

But after experiencing his first loss in a 10-fight career, Hefford has vowed to climb back up the ladder and force a return with Leinster later this season.

It appeared as if the Essex man was ahead in the contest after his slick counterpunching caused problems in the first three rounds.

But Leinster turned the fight on its head during an early exchange in the fourth round, sending Hefford to the canvas and forcing referee Ken Curtis to end the fight.

Hefford said: “Although I’m gutted about getting my first loss since I started boxing, the loss has only made me more determined to come back stronger.

“It has given me a new focus. rom the first round I felt I had his number, and he was walking onto my jab and I felt really comfortable as I could see he was getting frustrated.

“There were openings in his defence, but I was hampered by a rib injury that I’d sustained a couple of weeks prior to the fight so I think that played a part in not being able to exploit them.

“I took a shot on the chin early on and thought it’s not as hard as I was expecting.

“I knew style-wise this was going to be a great fight and it turned out to be just that. I didn’t even see the shot that caught me, but looking at the finish on video I made a silly mistake and let him turn me on the ropes and as I threw my left hook he threw his right and he beat me to the punch.

“I know what mistakes I made and once the rib injury has healed I’m going to be straight back in the gym and working towards getting back into action in April. Hopefully I’ll get a second crack at Leinster as I know I’ve got the skills to beat him.”

Hefford’s title showdown with Leinster will feature on British Eurosport later this month, and for more information logo onto www.queensburyboxing.co.uk.

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