Motherwell kickboxer Gary McLeary says he will be back better than ever after being outclassed in his bid to win a second world title at the weekend.
McLeary took on Italian Alex Rossi in Hamilton for the IKSA world super-heavyweight title, but the fight ended prematurely in the second round when the referee stopped it due top the amount of blood coming from McLeary’s broken nose.
McLeary said: “I just didn’t do enough homework on the guy and paid the price, it was only when we got there we realised just how much experience he had over me and what a world class fighter he is.
“He went for me straight away and while I tried to fight back I just couldn’t get anything off, I suffered a broken nose in the first and in the second the referee decided to stop it.
“Sometimes you have to put your hands up and accept that your opponent is the better man, he has fought all over the world for the top leagues, and was just awesome.”
Despite the defeat McLeary admits he would like to go one-on-one with Rossi again.
He said: “I still have my Golden Belt world title and will be looking to defend it around October, but just depends how long my nose takes to heal.
“A rematch with Rossi has been agreed for some point in the future, but next time I will be more ready and will be completely changing the way I approach my training so I can one day get to that level.
“It’s fair to say I was taught a harsh lesson but one I am determined I will learn from.”
Also on the card McLeary’s protégés from his Infernal gym Darren Smith and Alan Drain made successful debuts.
McLeary said: “They both fought brilliantly so I was delighted.”