Anthony Yarde says he has learnt to accept his defeat to Lyndon Arthur last December, but that does not mean he still agrees with it.
The light heavyweight rivals were scheduled to co-headline a show at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday night - but on Tuesday, Yarde's fight was removed from the card when his opponent withdrew with injury.
Yarde looked completely shocked when Arthur’s hand was raised at the end of their 12-rounder at Church House, Westminster. He hopes to get a chance of revenge later this year.
“It’s all about perspective,” said Yarde, the former WBO title challenger. “I still feel it was a close fight, but if there was a winner in the fight, I still felt it was me. One of the judges had it very wide to me and the other judges two had it close, so that is boxing for you.”
Yarde was widely criticized for not being busy enough in the fight, allowing Arthur to control the action with the jab. Indeed, it was only in the final two rounds that Yarde really sprung to life.
“There is no room for error in boxing,” he said. “In the ring, I didn’t feel he was confident he had won; I was maybe too confident that I had won. That’s why it was such a shock to me.
“When I watched it back, then I could see (what other’s saw). But it is a lot about perception. I am known as a knockout artist, so people might be thinking that Lyndon is doing something to stop me doing that. I can 100 percent see that now, but it is all about learning.”
Tunde Ajayi, Yarde’s trainer, was also picked out for criticism after the fight, but Yarde decided to stick with him, even though he said there had been some serious discussions between them afterwards.
One change was bringing James Cook, the former European super-middleweight champion, into the camp to offer another view.
“I’ve learnt my lesson. I came on late, but I was in a daze in that fight, my mind was in so many places,” he said. “Tunde has taken ownership of some things. What I was being told in the corner was that I was comfortable, and I felt comfortable in there. I was taking a few jabs here and there, but I wasn’t receiving any crazy shots.
“You can only learn from situations and how you deal with them.
“Mainly [Cook] has brought another set of eyes, but with knowledge and experience. He fought at a high level. No one in my camp has fought at that level. Tunde turned pro, had certain injuries, was 5-0 but has not fought at that level. James has not only boxed at that level but has stayed in boxing since. Sometimes what you need is an outside eye.
“I really, really respect James Cook. He’s an MBE and a really nice guy. He has always given me good energy and good advice. There were other people we spoke to but it worked out well that James was added to the team.”
Despite the loss to Arthur, which came just 16 months after his first defeat to Sergey Kovalev, Yarde, 29, remains positive about his career and believes he can still become a world champion, even though the end target is not on his mind right now.
“I have changed my life through boxing,” Yarde said. “I am making very good money. The area where I am from, some of the people I grew up with are dead, some are in prison. I was born in Hackney, raised in Stratford and Forest Gate – there is gang violence and crime everywhere. You are always looking over your shoulder. Sometimes you get a gang of boys running down the street and you wonder what is going on.
“Because of the gang culture, police are very harsh on people, especially if you dress a certain way, walk a certain way. To get out of that situation and to now be an inspiration to people from my area is just beautiful, I thank God every day.
“All I am doing right now is taking one fight at a time, stay focused and just work on progression – that is my main goal.”