It was a controversial decision but Gunnedah boxer Enja Prest fell just short of claiming the Australian women’s middleweight boxing title in Sydney on Saturday night.

The NSW champion in the 66.6kg division, Enja Prest went in against Queensland champion Jamie Edenden, from Brisbane, in an eight-round bout for the vacant Australian title at Arena Sports Club, Yagoona.

In a bruising battle, judges scored the bout 56-55, 56-55 and 58-54 in favour of the Queenslander but Gunnedah trainer David (Spike) Syphers thought that the Gunnedah girl was “unlucky” not to get the decision.

“It was a top-shelf contest, both were hitting very hard,” he said.

“It was a controversial decision. I scored it as a narrow margin for Enja in six of the eight rounds but the judges didn’t see it that way.

“I’d say that at least half the spectators thought Enja had won but you have to accept the result that’s given.”

According to Syphers, the loss “isn’t the end of the line” for Prest.

“On the contrary, it’s really a boost to her career.

“She’s still inexperienced, she’s only had four bouts, and she can be proud of her efforts. She’s right up to that level and the experience of a tough fight like that can only help her down the track.”

Syphers said his charge had come through the fight well and a program would be mapped out for the rest of the year.

“We could look for a rematch or we might even consider a few fights overseas, possibly in America, as we have close links to a couple of US promoters.

“It was a disappointing result for us but I see it as a stepping stone.”  

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