Steve Foster Junior was unable to elevate his career to any further platform tonight after losing a unanimous points decision to Belgium’s Ermano Fegatilli at the Reebok stadium in Bolton.
The Salford man started well, looking very strong as he used a high guard and a smart use of the jab to set up more substantial attacks. Most notable in the opener was Foster’s repeatedly successful landing of hard body shots, which initially looked as though they could have an impact on the fight as it wore on.
The second saw slightly more resistance from Fegatilli, who was halted from launching anything truly damaging by impressive movement and more body work with the left hook.
The third saw the awakening of the challenger from Liege, as he stalked Foster, who continued with a pacy jab, until he had backed him onto the ropes, where the assault on the Salford fighter began. Foster survived an onslaught to head and body, looking visibly uncomfortable as he had to exert force to survive.
Foster was able to turn the tide back in his favour in the fourth after landing a heavy right that shook the challenger and re-established Foster’s dominance briefly.
The fifth saw Foster backed up after a toe to toe battle, where Fegatelli launched a flurry of combination punches on the ropes in a bid to end the night early. But for Foster answering back with his own shots, there was indeed a case to be made for such a circumstance.
The sixth was also damaging in places for the EBU champion, who looked as though the night was taking its toll late on after taking some unnecessary shots despite finding the mark with hooks to the body once again.
The seventh and eighth sessions highlighted Fegatelli’s desire to win the fight as he walked through Foster’s accurate jab to impose his own will by hammering foster on the ropes, a situation that troubled the champion to a greater degree with every instance of the scenario.
The first seriously detrimental dent to Foster’s fortunes came in the ninth, where after once again trying to set a rhythm with the jab, Fegatelli pushed forward fiercely and managed to catch the Englishman with a short left the head that sent Foster down for the eight count. Rather than covering up and thinking defensively following the knockdown, Foster sought to fight his way from danger, landing a solid right hook before the bell sounded.
The tenth saw Foster again trying to box his way to a victory, to no avail however as the body shots elected by the Belgian felled the champion for a hat trick of knockdowns even though Foster was trying hard to stay away from harm. The final two rounds saw more heartache for Foster, who was unable to detect the kind of momentum needed to retain his title, after falling again in the eleventh, it was painfully clear that the night was now lost.
The scorecards reflected this viewpoint with two judges scoring the contest 114-110 for the challenger and the third seeing a wider margin of 114-109.
“I don’t want to make excuses but I got a virus on Monday and it did me in,” said Foster told Sky Sports.
“I thought to myself, ‘yeah, I can do it, I’ve got a week to recover’. And with the training I did, I didn’t want to throw anything away, I just wanted to soldier on.”
Craig Lyon held onto his English bantamweight title when his defence against Josh Wale ended in a technical draw after four rounds, as the result of cuts to both fighters. The fight got off to a good start and looked to be set to be turning into an undercard favorite when. The technical stoppage rule is something that was brought into British boxing recently and a rematch between the pair is sure to be arranged for the near future.
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By Jamie Albrecht at Ringside