Boxing: Lueshing retires following title loss

ONCE AGAIN round three proved Kevin Lueshing's undoing in a world title fight, and there will be no third attempt at the elusive prize.

The 31-year-old from Beckenham was left with his senses scrambled after losing his World Boxing Organisation light-middleweight challenge to Namibia's Harry Simon at Crystal Palace on Saturday night. Lueshing was put down by three rights in the decisive round and when the referee Lou Moret called the contest off, Lueshing predictably announced his retirement from the sport.

"I'm 31 and it's the end of the road for me now," he said. "This will be my last fight."

Lueshing, stopped in the third round of an International Boxing Federation welterweight challenge to Felix Trinidad in January 1997 had planned to counter attack Simon. He had some success in the first round, connecting with a decent left hook, but Simon soon grew wise to the plan and became increasingly reticent to push forward.

Lueshing obviously underestimated the champion's power and afterwards, at a press conference, he found it hard to recall the first knockdown - a right to the side of the head which left him crumpled in his corner. "He gave me room and I was a bit surprised by that," Lueshing admitted. "I thought he would come at me - there is certainly no comparison between him and Felix Trinidad - Trinidad was more precise.

"In the first two rounds I wasn't in any undue pressure until he caught me with a body shot. It would have been a dream come true to win a world title at Crystal Palace."

Retirement was the only option for Lueshing, who has excited domestically but was found sadly wanting at the top level.