By John Kelly
Ted Cheeseman is being backed to improve when he faces Scott Fitzgerald in the second defence of his British super-welterweight belt after drawing with Kieron Conway at York Hall last Saturday night.
After falling short in his bid for a European belt against Sergio Garcia in February as he suffered the first defeat of his professional career, Cheeseman drew for the first time in seventeen bouts against Conway.
Bermondsey’s Cheeseman kept hold of his belt after the judges carded the fight 116-113 (Conway), 115-114 (Cheeseman) and 114-114.
Cheeseman started ferociously and appeared set to get back to winning ways, but Northampton’s Conway defended doggedly before sniping and scoring regularly.
Charlie Sims, son of trainer Tony, and who is involved with Cheeseman at the Wasserman agency, thought his fighter should have got the decision.
Sims said: “It was a disappointing result, really. I thought he won it clearly by four or five rounds. I try not to be biased with my fighters but that’s just what I thought. Everybody else ringside thought that as well.
“It was a good fight. I think Kieron Conway did really well in the fight, to be honest. He’d never gone past eight, I was surprised he kept up with the pace.
“But, to be honest with you, he’s a good fighter and I think he will be hard for anyone in that division.
“When you know Ted, when you know his situation, when you know what he’s been through, that fight meant everything to him.
“He really wanted to win and look good so it’s just a shame. I feel for him.
“He’s extremely upset and I just said to him, ‘look, you’ve got to pick yourself up again. I know it’s been tough and you’ve been rock-bottom at times and you needed that performance and win – but you didn’t lose.’”
Fitzgerald is 13-0 and picked up the vacant WBA international super-welterweight title with a split-decision win over Anthony Fowler in March.
Sims added: “We’ve got a bigger fight in Scott Fitzgerald, that’s not going to be an easy fight. Ted’s got to pick himself up, be strong and get his head right back in camp.
“He’s got every good chance against Scott Fitzgerald as well. Scott’s only been ten rounds. He had a good fight with [Anthony] Fowler, he hasn’t fought [Brian] Rose for whatever reason, whether it was a hand injury or he hasn’t been in camp.
“What we’ve learned about Ted Cheeseman is he’s a tough, tough customer. He’s going to be in there for twelve rounds, he sets the pace from round one.
“It’s disappointing but we move on.”