Sam O’maison’s dream of climbing the ladder of world boxing will have to wait a little longer.
The brave Sheffield fighter succumbed to a heavy knock-down at the hands of Spaniard Luca Giacon, in an IBF international super lightweight title contest in Malaga.
He was caught flush by the big-punching champion in the sixth round and went down awkwardly on the seat of his pants. When he arose, his legs refused to comply with his brain and he staggered into Giacon, who was standing in a neutral corner.
That was enough for the referee to stop the contest.
O’maison was devastated by the loss - he’d pinned his hopes on ascending the IBF route towards a world shot. At 26, his time can still come.
He posted on social media: “I want to thank everyone for the support and love you have all shown. I came to Spain and risked myself against a guy whose record stands at W30 L1 with 26 KOs. I knew what I was in for but I showed I’m a warrior and came to his back yard in his country. I wobbled him three times yet he got one big lucky punch in on me.
“These are the risks when you’ve got two punchers in the ring together. My heart is broke. I’m absolutely gutted. I give my all to boxing...dedicate so much of my life to it. I’m sorry to anyone I’ve let down.”
The Ryan Rhodes fighter started with supreme confidence, moving smoothly and getting some good shots in, although Giacon seemed to come on strongly in the second half of each round.
Every time O’maison landed well, it stoked up more fire in his opponent.
The Waverley-based Brit may have thought he’d ended it in the sixth - the pair were swinging at each other, O’maison had the last punch, seemingly on the back of Giacon’s head as he leant forward, off balance. The home fighter fell through the ropes and out of the ring.
Again he came back strongly, though, and as O’maison threw a left, Giacon powered in a right sending him to the canvas.