Commonwealth champion Joe Joyce believes his chances of sealing early Olympic qualification are over after losing his undefeated World Series of Boxing record.
Joyce and fellow Commonwealth Games champion Scott Fitzgerald were both on the wrong end of split decisions as the British Lionhearts fell to a 4-1 defeat to the Russian Boxing Team.
Joyce has been in solid form in the WSB but couldn’t find a way past Babanin Maksim and now faces an uphill battle for early qualification with Croatia’s Filip Hrgovic in pole position.
“I couldn’t get through this door so I’ll have to go onto the next door,” the 29-year-old said.
“I’ll go to the European Championships and then move onto qualifying for the World Championships and see if I can get the qualification there.
“[Croatia’s Filip] Hrgovic was already a point in front of me and unless he completely loses his next two fights, which I think is unlikely, I’m out of the running.
“I’m just disappointed with myself not to get the win and to now make it a raffle to qualify for the Olympics.”
Meanwhile it was Fitzgerald’s first foray in the WSB and the 23-year-old started slow against top-ranked welterweight Radzhab Butaev.
However, he grey into the bout and some solid body shots had Butaev in trouble but it wasn’t enough to convince the judges.
“It was a split decision, I was a bit shocked personally, I thought I got beaten quite handily but I know I can beat him and I will do in the future,” he said.
“He was the number one so I was right in at the deep end. It took me a while to get into it, I don’t know why, but once I did get going I got to him, hurt him with a few body shots.
“He was a real strong lad, he took it well and came back. It’s just good experience, the five rounds, and I did it well.”