Lee McAllister loses European title fight against Denis Shafikov

By Jimmy SmallwoodBBC Sport
Boxer Lee McAllister
Boxer Lee McAllister

Lee McAllister quit on his stool before the eighth round of his fight against Russian Denis Shafikov to lose his challenge for the European light-welterweight title in Aberdeen.

The 29-year-old Scot, fighting in his home town, claimed afterwards an injury to his left hand forced him to retire.

Shafikov had dominated the first half of the bout and was ahead on points. He remains undefeated in his 29 fights.

"The last thing a fighter wants is to pull out," McAllister said.

A raucous home support cheered on McAllister, who had received messages of good luck from former Aberdeen football manager Sir Alex Ferguson and Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond, before the bout.

Nonetheless, it was the experienced Russian who dominated proceedings from the first bell.

Shafikov weighed in lighter than McAllister and gave away five inches in height and three in reach, and yet was able to connect time and again with his southpaw jab.

McAllister's preferred tactic is to box at distance and move, but Shafikov hustled his way inside the Scot's defence and made it count.

Crucially, it was Shafikov's combinations that produced results, with all but the first round decisively his.

McAllister seemed to lose his way in the fifth, and later revealed that it was at this point he suffered a painful left hand injury.

Despite playing to the partisan crowd in the sixth and seventh rounds, McAllister endured more punishment before calling off the fight as Shafikov emerged for the eighth.

"I thought I was boxing well but, by losing my jab, it was all over. When I hit him with my left I got shooting pains," said McAllister, who suffered the third defeat of his 37-fight professional career.

"He boxed well - it was a good night of boxing.

"Tonight was the biggest fight of my career and it's been overshadowed by a bad hand."

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