World-rated light-welterweight Ashley Theophane has exclusively told World Boxing News that his attempt to claim the Lonsdale belt outright fell short due to a lack of motivation to fight at domestic level.
Theophane lost out to late replacement Darren Hamilton last night at Aintree Racecourse in a somewhat controversial 118-113, 117-112, 115-113 decision, having thrown and landed almost an identical amount of punches to the Bristol fighter.
The Liverpool bout represented the 31 year-old’s final defence of the British title and the chance to achieve his goal of winning the belt for keeps. The Londoner had took time out of his world championship ambitions to move down to domestic level, having previously shared the ring with WBC champion Danny Garcia, former WBO titlist DeMarcus Corley and current world title challenger Delvin Rodriguez.
Ultimately though, a half-hearted Theophane became embroiled in wars with hungry British fighters like Ben Murphy and made his pursuit of the Lonsdale belt much harder for himself in the process.
The Hamilton fight was an accumulation of the three fights that preceded it and Theophane has admitted that he lacked the motivation needed to complete his target. And even though the New York-based stylist still only needs one more British title victory to own the title, Theophane has no plans to seek out a chance to avenge his loss last night.
“I have no desire to have a rematch with Darren Hamilton,” Theophane told World Boxing News.
“I struggled to mentally get up for fights on the domestic level and the writing has been on the wall for sometime.
“I have been going through the motions. My domestic opponents will always be super motivated as I’m there biggest fight but their name on my record has no meaning.
“I’m happy for Darren Hamilton. I have been in his predicament so now he can make some money and get some limelight.
“I was successful before I was British champion and I will be successful afterwards.”
‘Treasure’ has continually been offered high-profile fights in the US as he pursued his British dream, turning down two slots on Floyd Mayweather cards and more recently, an IBF #2 eliminator with Josesito Lopez in California following the withdrawal of Kendall Holt.
“Along with the Mayweather and Golden Boy offers, Goosen Tutor promotions have also offered me a big fight over the last few weeks,” noted Theophane.
“I’m a big event type of fighter and they know this. I’m respected on the world scene and that’s where a man of my talent belongs.
“Win or lose I need to be in big fights.
“Delvin Rodriguez lost to me and two fights later, is fighting for a world title. DeMarcus Corley is world number nine and I beat him four years ago. Dereck Chisora and James Degale lost their British titles and went on to fight for the world and European titles.
“I’m an elite fighter and I need to fight fellow elite fighters. Hatton promotions promised me a big International fight so my team will sit down and talk to them and make that fight happen.”