26 February 2010 – By Cormac Campbell
Neil Sinclairs Prizefighter dream ended in quarter-final split decision agony against Bradley Pryce at York Hall on Friday night.
The keenly contested bout, between the tournaments two favourites, saw Pryce avenge 2003s British welterweight title defeat.
The bout, which saw both men land heavy blows from the opening bell, was deemed level by Sky Sports analyst Jim Watt after two rounds. Indeed after the final stanza, punch stats revealed that the Welshman had landed just six more punches than the popular Belfastman.
In truth, Pryce did enough to win. At times he was able to keep the advancing Sinclair off balance with rangy and accurate shots. Sinclair for his part jabbed well and threatened with left hooks, particularly in the opening half of the second round.
Later in the round a seemingly innocuous clash of heads saw a small cut open above Sinclairs left eye. There is little point debating whether or not the damage would have forced Sinclairs withdrawal had he prevailed.
In defeating Sinclair, Pryce seemed to have expended all his ideas, looking flat in being totally outboxed by former John Duddy victim Prince Arron in the semi-finals. Arron then defeated Brett Flournoy in the final – thanks to a third round knockdown.
The excitement produced by the three round format of Prizefighter is second to none, but when a fight as entertaining as Sinclair vs Pryce is confined to just three rounds it leaves fight fans wanting more. As such, there will be considerable demand for a rubber match between the duo.
Another potential option for Sinclair is a defence of his Irish light-middleweight title, perhaps against James Moore, who is scheduled to fight at City West, Dublin in April.