World Series of Boxing: Great Britain fall just short against Ukraine at York Hall
Last Updated: 01/03/13 11:30pm
Sam Maxwell (left): Brit was beaten on points by Vasyl Lomachenko (right)
The GB Lionhearts put up a brave display before slipping to a 3-2 defeat against Ukraine in the World Series of Boxing.
Joe Joyce fell short in a real battle against reigning Olympic and world heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk as the visitors narrowly came out on top at the York Hall in Bethnal Green.
"I'm disappointed to have lost but I proved to myself that I belong up there in world class."
The inexperienced Joyce was forced to soak up a never-ending series of left hands, but to his credit he kept throwing right up to the final bell where Usyk took a deserved 50-45 verdict.
Sam Maxwell also suffered defeat, though there was no disgrace in losing on points to double Olympic and world champion Vasyl Lomachenko.
Maxwell had lost to the same opponent in Kiev two months ago and although a change in tactics did show some success, he still couldn't get the better of a man who has lost just once in 300 bouts.
Lomachenko at times had the chance to show off his blistering hand-speed, particularly in the dying seconds as he sealed a comfortable points triumph.
Maxwell said: "I'm disappointed to have lost but I proved to myself that I belong up there in world class.
"There were people who thought I'd done myself proud just by being in the ring with Lomachenko, but I've gone 10 rounds with him and definitely proved a lot to a lot of people."
The other Lionheart to be beaten on the night was Fred Evans, the Olympic silver medalist being stopped late in the third round by Dmytro Mytrofanov.
Andrew Selby and Joe Ward dragged the home team back into the match, the pair winning on points against Ivan Ilntyskyy and Denys Solonenko respectively.
Great Britain had already guaranteed their progression to the World Series of Boxing semi-finals, and will face the Mexico City Guerreros over two legs later in March.