Despite failing in his attempt to wrest the World Council welterweight title from Pernell Whitaker on Saturday, Gary Jacobs was paid a glowing tribute by the man who beat him. The 29-year-old Scot lost the fight, somewhat harshly, by a points margin the length of Atlantic City's famous Boardwalk, scoring which Jacobs described as a "joke".
Jacobs did well for six rounds before Whitaker took over, and two knockdowns in the final round had the Glaswegian struggling to reach the finishing line - and such a big round for Whitaker distorted the scoring.
Whitaker said after his 17th title fight: "This was a great performance by Gary. He put in a hell of a fight and should remain the No 1 contender, he deserves it. He certainly didn't come to lie down. I certainly can't take away the fact that he was the leading contender.
"He was awkward, but both being left-handed made it difficult to adapt. I don't care if people didn't like what was going on. Being a big puncher is not my style - I'm a technician, not a mass murderer."
Jacobs confesses that he may have paid the four-time world champion "too much respect", although he had reason to complain when the Hawaiian judge gave the 11th round to Whitaker after he had taken a standing count, although it appeared that Jacobs had not made contact. The judges scored 118-107, 117-109, 118-109.
Jacobs, who also had a point deducted for holding in a desperate final round, said: "I'm not grumbling about the verdict, but I think it was a lot closer than the judges made it. The one who scored 118-107 must have been watching another fight outside on the Boardwalk."
n Eamonn Loughran, who retained his World Organisation welterweight title with a sixth-round stoppage of Tony Gannarelli in Belfast on Saturday, will make the fifth defence of his title on 7 October against Angel Beltre, of the Dominican Republic. Beltre and Loughran fought a no-contest in May after an accidental clash of heads, which led the WBO to order a rematch.
n Don King and Bob Arum are to try to arrange a fight between Mike Tyson and George Foreman next March.