Sunderland’s Kirk Goodings says his narrow one point defeat to Steve Williams on Friday night feels as good as winning.
The Sunderland boxer took a huge step up in class on the undercard of David Price/ Matt Skelton, challenging mandatory British title challenger for the vacant British Masters Gold title.
Williams was originally due to fight the current British champion Darren Hamilton and had a full training camp preparing for that before Hamilton was forced out just eight days before the fight resulting in Kirk getting this chance.
The fact Kirk hadn’t fought since March, had never gone 12 rounds before and had never fought anyone with a winning record in his seven fights thus far made his performance, televised on BoxNation Tv, all the more impressive.
Kirk said: “I am very pleased with my performance as although I was beaten I have still came out a winner. My credibility has shot up and a lot of people thought I won the fight. If I can put that performance together after 1 weeks notice then a full 8 week training camp can only improve my performance.
” I’m disappointed I lost but it was a good experience and it feels like I haven’t lost. Watching the fight back I think it was close but I thought I might of just edged it, it’s disappointing to lose but I think this is definitely the start of something good for me. It was very important because it shows everyone how good I am and proved what level I’m at in British boxing.”
Although I had the Sunderland novice winning on points 117-116, the referee scoring the fight scored three rounds in total even and ended with Williams on top 116-115. The fight was so tight though that it would be hard to argue either way.
The result just boiled down to what the scorer prefered. Williams as usual was aggressive and came out explosively throwing plenty of leather. That didn’t faze Goodings though as he boxed fantastically on the back foot, often against the ropes, showing his ability to counter box.
It appeared Kirk ran out of steam in the middle stages of the fight and there was doubts over his ability to last the full 12 after only ever previously gone six but Kirk survived and actually came on stronger at the end, winning the last five rounds on my scorecard.
Kirk explained about the fight: “Been on the back foot was part of my game plan as I knew he was a strong kid but I work on my defence daily so I knew I could block a lot of his shots and counter with my own. I can box to whichever way will beat an opponent in front of me, that’s what makes a good fighter, someone who can change their style when it is needed.
“It was always in my head that I’d never boxed 12 before but I just put that to the back of my head and got on with the job. I did feel tired in the middle stages of the fight but I wanted to win and that’s what drove me to work harder till the final bell.”
Kirk’s Facebook page was immediately inundated with messages of support and congratulations for his fantastic performance. He certainly earned a lot of respect and revealed the support has been overwhelming.
“It has been amazing to receive the messages I have,” Kirk said. “It spurs me on even more and makes me feel that it ain’t time for Kirk Goodings to hang the gloves up. Tunde was very pleased with my performance and said he couldn’t have asked for anymore and Williams said thank you for a great fight and said it could have went either way.”
There was one negative on the night though as Kirk’s world-renowned coach Tunde Ajayi came in for some criticism after his comments in the corner before the final round.
Ayaji told Goodings that he wanted him to go all out for the win but the BoxNation commentator Paul Smith was unhappy with the coach saying he hated brave corner men saying stuff liker that because they weren’t the ones having to take the punches.
Kirk was quick to dismiss the negativity though saying: “It does sound bad but I know Tunde and he knows what gets me fired up, I know for sure he didn’t want me to get knocked out, that would be crazy!”
Kirk is hoping now to stay a bit more active and is hoping to get a 10-rounder early next year, possibly for an area title.
As usual he wished to thank everyone for their support and messages, he said they have really helped him. He wanted to thank his sponsors Alldec Northern Ltd. and Benfield Motor Group. Lastly, he wanted to thank Barry Gibson of Grapplefit for all his hard work and Davie Christie for his brilliant pad work that sharpened him up for the fight.