Bicester boxer Daza Usher said he was proud of his efforts despite suffering a narrow defeat to Mitch Buckland in front of a packed capacity crowd in a fight that was part of a live Sky Sports show.
In a light welterweight clash, Usher took the fight to his Welsh opponent throughout and threatened to pull off an upset, but the home boxer ultimately proved too strong.
Despite that, Usher savoured the experience. He said: “All the headline fighters were at the weigh-in along with the Sky Sports camera crew.
“The atmosphere was building and a large crowd turned out to watch all the fighters weigh-in. I weighed in at 10 stones and two pounds. My opponent came in three ounces lighter.
“The fight itself took place at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff in front of 5,000 spectators. The atmosphere was electric and it was by far the biggest crowd I have ever boxed in front of.
“The first round was a feeling out affair. We both wanted to gauge what we had in front of us so worked behind the jab and kept a tight defence.
“This was the first time I would be boxing over six rounds so I didn’t want to start off too fast and burn myself out towards the end of the contest.”
As the fight progressed, Usher and Buckland began to settle as both men landed several clean punches. “I planned to step the pace up into the final two rounds,” Usher added.
“I still felt strong and had enough in the tank to try and push Buckland onto the back foot. The last round was very high paced and very close.
“We were both beginning to show signs of fatigue but had to bite down on the gumshield in order to push the pace.”
A deafening roar greeted the final bell as the crowd showed their appreciation for the huge effort the two boxers had put in.
Although all six rounds were a tight affair, Buckland was awarded a unanimous victory.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the fight, Usher said: “I feel so lucky to be part of a big event like this. I have been really looked after by Matchroom Boxing, the show promoters, and I feel privileged to be boxing on the same show as current and former world champions.
“I didn’t get the decision but I thought I boxed well and gave a good account of myself. Buckland is a great fighter and I hope he goes on to win a British title.
“I’ve learned a lot from this fight and will be looking to make improvements for my next one. Hopefully I’ll get another chance on Sky Sports and this time get that victory.”