Booth seeks home fight after another near miss

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The Independent Online

After 12 close rounds Jason Booth once again failed capture the European flyweight title when he lost on points to the Spanish-based Russian Alexander Mahmutov at Mosteles, on the outskirts of Madrid.

Booth, 23, had previously lost a fight for the same title in France in 1999 and on Saturday night he came a lot closer to receiving the verdict in a fight that he appeared to have won by two or three rounds. However, all three judges went against him with two scoring the fight 116-114 and one wide verdict of 118-112 from the Spanish official.

"I made the fight and the crowd knew that," Booth said. "I know how hard it is to win in Spain and Italy and that is why I want him back home because I will beat him back in Nottingham." Mahmutov does not have to give Booth a rematch but money could persuade the veteran, who is 35, to risk his title in a fight that would attract a capacity crowd to the new ice stadium in Nottingham and would be a crucial part of the boxing renaissance in the city.

Booth, the British and Commonwealth flyweight champion, his brother Nicky, who holds the same two belts at bantamweight, and Jawaid Khaliq, the International Boxing Organisation welterweight champion, have fought in front of sell-out crowds of 1,800 at a smaller arena in Nottingham on two occasions this year.

"After the fight I registered a formal request for a rematch with the European Boxing Union and I've also spoken to our promoter Tommy Gilmour and told him we need the rematch in Nottingham or a fight with world champion Peter Culshaw," Mike Shinfield, Booth's manager, said.