Express & Star

Halesowen ace Osama Mohamed suffers ‘heartbreaking’ defeat on world stage

Coach Kev Dillon believes Osama Mohamed can hold his head up high after the Lions Boxing Club star suffered a heartbreaking quarter-final defeat at the World Youth Championships.

Boxer Osama Mohamed

Mohamed faced Georgia’s Demur Kajaia in Alicante last night knowing victory would be enough to secure a guaranteed medal.

But he was unable to get the better of Kajaia, who progressed on a unanimous decision – just as he had when the two fighters met in the semi-finals of April’s European Championships.

The Georgian went on to win gold on that occasion and there is every chance he will do the same again, something Dillon believes should be of some consolation to Mohamed after a contest which was closer than the final scorecards suggested. Dillon said: “Osama boxed better against him than he did at the Europeans.

“It’s heartbreaking to lose at this stage of the competition when all you want is a medal.

“But you can’t forget what he has achieved over the last 12 months, winning bronze at the Europeans and regularly competing overseas.

“He’s had more fights this year than in the rest of his career combined and it is all a learning experience. We are all so proud of him.”

Dillon gathered with his coaching staff and some of Mohamed’s club-mates to watch the bout, which was streamed online.

Mohamed initially struggled to find his range and it was Kajaia who landed more in the opening round.

But while the second round was far tighter, with the England boxer appearing to do the slightly better work, all five judges again ruled in favour of the Georgian.

That left with Mohamed with a mountain to climb and though he did enough to win the favour of two judges with a battling final round display, he could not find the punch needed to snatch the contest away.

Dillon said: “I thought the second round scoring would at least have been split. Personally, I thought Osama took it and if that happens the third round becomes very different. When you are two rounds down, it is a long way back.

“Kajaia is an excellent boxer and you have to give him credit. Osama never lost his cool. He kept his shape, kept boxing and it was a close fight.

“It is gutting right now but when he has some time to reflect he will realise how far he has come.”