Boxing: Trainer backing Kris Carslaw despite European setback

Kris Carslaw: Lost on points
Kris Carslaw: Lost on points
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KRIS Carslaw has been told he is good enough to compete for major honours, despite suffering another setback.

The Paisley light-middleweight was handed a unanimous points defeat by Michel Soro in France on Saturday as he lost out on the chance to claim the vacant WBO European crown.

The 117-111, 118-110, 118-110 loss in Le Cannet on the French Riviera means the 28-year-old has only won three of his last seven encounters. But his trainer, Colin Bellshaw, insists Carslaw, who picked up a nasty cut just above his hairline midway through the fight, is not far away from a first major prize.

Bellshaw said: “Kris is absolutely gutted, but I’m proud of him. Soro is a guy who has fought for a world title before and is very slick, but there was never much between either fighter. A couple of the judges gave Soro the win by eight rounds and that is unbelievable.

“As for what we do next, I don’t think we need a new approach. Kris is fighting at championship level but we just need to find that extra 10 per cent that will get him over the line.”

Soro’s victory came after Carslaw failed to get the nod against Matthew Hall in a British title eliminator, in a full Lonsdale belt face-off with Brian Rose and a bout with eventual winner Larry Ekundayo in November’s eight-man Prizefighter event.

“I don’t count the Prizefighter result as it is a different type of boxing,” said Bellshaw. “And, of the other three defeats, the only one that concerned me was the Matthew Hall one, because Chris just didn’t perform.

“But he has now had 24 rounds against top operators in Rose and Soro and wasn’t outclassed in one of them. Soro was a good fighter and I expect to see more of him in Britain but Kris can definitely bounce back from this result and win titles.”

Bellshaw added: “Kris gave his best performance yet against his toughest opponent yet in a hostile environment. If he wasn’t improving we would worry but he gave a former world title challenger a real hard fight.”