Stan Stannard saw his dream of a national title go up in smoke after a controversial finale to his semi-final bout on Saturday.
The middleweight had bossed the first two rounds of the National ABAE Senior Novice Championship bout in Mexborough.
But the referee stopped the fight in the final round because of a cut which Stannard claimed was caused by a headbutt from opponent Matt Wigglesworth.
An appeal was made to the Amateur Boxing Association of England to review a video of the fight, but the original result stood.
Stannard said:“I knew I was winning comfortably and was one round from a national final.
“I know in my heart of hearts that I could be national champion, but now I have to pick myself up and come back even stronger.”
The Harby boxer, who had beaten the 2014 national champion in the district final, was quickly into his rhythm and began confidently, picking off Wigglesworth who fights out of the Vulcan Boxing Club, in Hull.
Stannard won the first round thanks to his movement, jabbing and effective combinations. The second round was a duplicate as the Hull boxer struggled to land a scoring blow.
Wigglesworth tried to close down the range to nullify his opponent’s jabs in round three and made contact with his head as the pair stepped into a clinch, opening a cut above Stannard’s left eye.
The referee halted the contest and called in the doctor before going on to declare Wigglesworth the winner on a technical knockout.
Stannard’s corner complained the bout should have been decided by the scorecards of the three judges and sent an official protest to the ABAE.
A spokesman for the ABAE told the Melton Times the competition supervisor had been informed of the incident by Stannard’s club, Benny’s of Nottingham, but having not seen what had happened, they consulted the judges.
The complaint was then referred to the ABAE’s technical and rules sub-committee which issued the following response to the club.
“The referee has followed the correct procedure as it would seem that he has not clearly seen what happened and asked the judges.
“There is no protest allowed in AOB and therefore (we)consider this matter as closed.”
The upshot is that Wigglesworth will face southern champion Alex Hibberd (Golden Ring) in Saturday’s final at York Hall in London.
Despite the outcome, Stannard received a raft of support on Facebook, even from a rival boxing club.
He said: “Thank-you to everyone for their help and support, to my club and coaches and all the people who have given up their time to train and spar with me over this period.”
Dad Adrian added: “Stan has shown tremendous spirit, character and courage in adversity and makes our whole family very proud.”