Tyrone Nurse “taking the positives” after suffering defeat on his travels

Despite suffering a narrow defeat to Kerman Lejarraga on Saturday night, Tyrone Nurse was happy with his performance given the circumstances of the fight.

“I only got five weeks’ notice and shifted probably a stone and a half. I spent no time at all in lockdown training. So that was fresh off ten months out of the ring. Although it is another loss on my record, there are a lot of positives to take from it in my head. I’ve just got to watch it back and I’m pretty sure I’ll watch it and know if I had a full camp and proper training, that I could have beaten him.”

Although we are used to behind closed doors boxing at the minute with Frank Warren and Eddie Hearn both putting on shows with no crowd, this was not the case in Spain.

The Plaza de Toros de Puerto Banus in Marbella, had roughly 1,500 fans spread out around the arena, and the thirty-year-old was pleased there was a small crowd able to watch the action.

“Visually, you could see it looked empty because it is a massive place, but as a fighter when you’re in the ring you’re not looking at the crowd. Somebody is trying to punch my head in so it was nice to be able to hear the crowd and some noise because ultimately in terms of the atmosphere, whether you sold 20’000 tickets or just 2, you can’t differentiate. You can’t tell who is shouting. It was nice to have the atmosphere there, I preferred that to the thought of fighting in an empty arena.”

On paper, Lejarraga has a fierce knockout record, and many would have fancied him to stop Nurse on Saturday, but the Huddersfield man knew this was not going to be the case.

“I’m from Yorkshire, they breed us tough. I know how durable I can be. I know if it gets tough I enjoy it, I like that grit.”

“He’s the type of guy that when you type his name in on YouTube, you get those ridiculous highlight reels and knockouts, so you’ve got to be a bit wary of that punching power.”

Despite the high knockout record and many people seeing him as one of the hardest-hitting light-middleweights in world boxing, Nurse was honest in his assessment of the Spaniard's power.

“If I’m going to be completely honest, I thought Catterall (Jack) hit harder than him.

“Someone asked me after the fight how hard he hit, and I said I think Catterall probably hit harder than him and was stronger than him physically. I was very surprised. Catterall is a lot cleverer with his shots. He’s not as big a puncher but because he’s quicker and smarter that’s why you feel it more.”

Knowing that he could handle whatever Lejarraga was throwing at him, the slick welterweight knew that he could draw the Spaniard into his type of fight.

“After the first round my Dad asked me ‘What’s his power like?’ and I said, ‘There’s not much to be worried about.’ He asked me again after the second, then he told me to sit on the ropes for a bit so in the third round that’s what I did.

“He did what we expected him to do, he unloaded some big shots and a few of them got through, body shots and the like. It showed me there was nothing to be worried about power-wise with Lejarraga. That’s always a bonus because at the same time I’m thinking ‘If this guy hits me, I’m not really fussed.’ Not that it makes it any more fun.”

As previously mentioned, the general consensus from fans was that it was a very close fight, with only a round or two in it.