Jack Bateson is eyeing a rematch with GB team-mate Charlie Edwards after narrowly losing out to the Repton boxer in an entertaining flyweight final at the ABA Championships on Sunday.
Edwards was awarded the bout unanimously by the judges but that only tells part of the story as the duo went toe-to-toe at Liverpool’s Echo Arena.
I need to make sure that every time I spar him now that I give nothing because we’ll meet again and I’m pretty sure that next time we meet, I’ll take the win
So close was the fight that Bateson believed he had done enough to secure his third ABA title in as many years and his first since moving up from the light-flyweight division and he has already set his sights on another fight with Edwards.
“It was a great fight and I actually thought I’d done enough to win,” said Bateson. “I had a lot of good comments after it, a lot of officials and spectators said they thought I might have got the decision but it was a great fight and congratulations to Charlie.
“I’ll be back better and hopefully down the line we’ll get the rematch on because I feel that I deserve a rematch and the fans, everyone else would love to see it too.
“I feel like I couldn’t have done any more, I’m happy with how I performed but unfortunately I didn’t get the win on the day whereas on another day, in another place I might have got the decision. It’s a bit gutting but I’ll be back.”
Having sparred with Edwards on countless occasions whilst training with the Great Britain squad, Bateson confirmed that the pair knew what to expect from each other but that no matter how many times they may have faced off in the gym, a competitive bout cannot be replicated.
“I knew what I was going to have to do with Charlie, we’ve shared so many rounds in sparring and I think you could see that from when we were fighting,” added Bateson.
“We both knew what each other was going to do and were trying to draw each other in to our own game plans.
“Sparring is nothing compared to competing though and I said that in a couple of interviews before. We’ve sparred so many rounds but it’s nothing like competing when you’ve got your nerves and you bring a whole different sort of game plan.
“I feel I perform a lot better when I compete than when I spar and I reckon he was actually a little bit shocked with how well I performed. It was a close fight and I could have got it on another day. It’s just one of those things.”
Bateson admitted that he probably lost the final round of the bout but felt that he edged the first and was at the best fighter in the second but with the fight now gone, he is looking to the future.
“I’m looking forward to hopefully having a rematch down the line. I can see a long-term rivalry building up, we’ve friends at the end of the day but it’s a sport. I’m devastated but ABA’s next year I’ll get my title back, hopefully,” he said.
“I need to make sure that every time I spar him now that I give nothing because we’ll meet again and I’m pretty sure that next time we meet, I’ll take the win.”