Professional boxer Suz Member has vowed to return from his recent debut defeat, and admits that he made mistakes with his weight.
The Lancashire-born fighter was beaten TKO (technical knockout) in the first round on Saturday evening’s WBU European Championship card at London’s famous York Hall, Bethnal Green whilst making his first outing under new promoters, Acourtier Events.
Member, mentored by former Commonwealth and European Light-Middleweight champion – Herol ‘Bomber’ Graham, had undergone a rigorous training regime prior to the bout, and had mistakenly attempted to shed extra weight in the days leading up to the night with hour-long sessions in the sauna.
This overload proved to be his undoing on the evening when he weighed-in almost 4kg under his Lithuanian opponent – Tadas Stulginskas – shortly before stepping into the world-renowned ring.
Member said: ‘My heart dropped as soon as I stepped onto the scales. He (Stulginskas) was dead on 69kg, and I was at 65.6kg – well below my agreed contracted limit.
‘I knew Stulginskas was going to be a strong fighter anyway because I made sure with my management that I was given a match, and not a journeyman.
‘I felt drained and tired in the ring and nowhere even close to my best.
‘Full credit to him (Stulginskas), he’s a good athlete and almost 6ft who took advantage of the situation and the best man won on the night.
‘But it’s bitterly frustrating because it was a fight my team and I know I should have won.’
Member, also a full-time firefighter in Manchester, is keen to make amends and is looking ahead to his next bout, which is likely to be scheduled between April and May as part of his five-fight deal with Acourtier Events.
Although disappointed with the setback on Saturday night, Member believes that it will make him a more accomplished fighter.
He added: ‘I am happy to take the plaudits so I am big enough to front up when things go wrong.
‘I’m not the sort of person who blames other people, and I hold my hands up to it. But there were factors that went into me losing, and those are things which I’ll ensure don’t happen again.
‘We were led to believe that my opponent was orthodox, when instead he was a southpaw. It was only during the fight itself that we discovered this, and had to devise a new game-plan there and then.
‘But these things happen in professional boxing, and I’m very fortunate to be coached by some of the best people in the business who work day in and day out to prepare me.
‘The support I received from people all over the UK and in the North West has been unbelievable and, if anything, Saturday night has only made me more determined to be a success.’
You can keep in touch with Suz online by following him on Twitter @SuzMember and using #TeamSuz.