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Heartbreak for Hornchurch's Hefford

PUBLISHED: 16:00 03 December 2015

John Hefford in action (pic Samantha Wordie)

John Hefford in action (pic Samantha Wordie)

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Middleweight vows to bounce back from defeat

Hornchurch middleweight John Hefford has vowed to come back bigger and better after an astonishing night of Queensbury Boxing League action ended in heartbreak on Saturday.

Boxing in the inaugural eight-man Quest Knockout Tournament at the Copthorne Hotel in Effingham Park, the 30 year-old furniture store owner won his quarter-final against Jamie Andrews before succumbing to undefeated multi-weight champion Gareth Gardner.

Their fight was described by some observers as the best Queensbury match ever seen and Hefford said: “I’ve boxed in a four-man tournament before and having had the previous match already I feel I was able to get some pre-fight nerves out the way.

“The game-plan was to go for a knockout as we didn’t think we would get a points decision. I was swinging for a shot and loading up but just got caught.”

Explaining his points victory over Andrews, Hefford added: “He definitely trained for it and has gone up in my estimation. He rocked me to my boots with one shot, but I was able to keep cool and pick my shots. He’s got some chin on him as well as I was landing clean on him.”

Gardner had swept all before him in 12 previous appearances, but Hefford shocked the packed arena by taking the battle to the unbeaten champion, particularly in a stunning second round.

The action continued unabated in the last before Hefford was dropped heavily by a left hook. He bravely scrambled to his feet, but victory was sealed for Gardner who lost to Grays fighter Tey-Lynn Jones in the final.

“We knew he was good as I have sparred with him. He’s tall and rangy, can dig and can take a shot. He is so busy and will be hard to beat,” said Hefford, who will now rest over Christmas before planning a return to Queensbury action, possibly in the super-middleweight division.

“I walk around at 13 stone so getting down to 11st 6lb is really hard. We’ll see where the opportunities are, but I think I proved to people the ability that I have,” he said.

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