HE may have his detractors but no-one can argue that Robert Glasson-Wilesmith fought valiantly for the IKF (International Kickboxing Federation) world heavyweight title on Saturday.
Glasson-Wilesmith lost on a third round technical knockout to former cruiserweight world champion Mike Sheppard at Robina's Skilled Park.
"It was an absolute war we fought," Glasson-Wilesmith said.
Glasson-Wilesmith maintains he won the first round but in the second he copped a blow that would end the 47-year-old's title aspirations.
"We clashed heads," Glasson-Wilesmith explained.
"There was a bit of controversy.
"I was watching the video and it looks like he did it intentionally.
"I had blood pouring out."
But the Mt Crosby Muay Thai master wasn't about to let his dream die there.
"I kept coming back," he said.
"He hit me with his best and I kept going. He kicked me fair in the head and I laughed at him."
Glasson-Wilesmith returned for the third round but the loss of blood form the head gash and a broken nose took its toll.
"I had blood gushing out of my head and nose and your body can't withstand that," he said.
"I had blood in my eyes but there was no way I was quitting.
"He capitalised by throwing some good punches.
"My hands dropped a little and he was able to get some good tags in the head.
"I went down and the ref said 'that's it'. I would have fought on."
Glasson-Wilesmith left without a title but earned the respect of his opponent and proved a point to himself.
"(Sheppard) said he'd fought the best of the best and knocked them out with one punch or kick," Glasson-Wilesmith said.
"He said I was one tough mother and that I shouldn't call myself Thunderlegs, I should be called Thunderchin.
"If it wasn't for the head clash, I reckon I would have won."
When the pain of the fight recedes, he will know he gave his best against the odds for a man approaching 50.
"I'm nursing a slightly broken nose and a stiff neck but that comes with the territory," he said.
"I went into the fight with two intentions.
"One was to win the title.
"If not it was to earn respect.
"From what they (the Sheppard camp) said, I think I got credibility.
"I inspired so many people and sent a message to middle-aged guys to have a go. It just takes a bit of discipline and having some ticker, having heart."
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