TRAINER Luke Pearce is desperate to see Craig Woodruff be given an opportunity to fight for the British lightweight title after Paul Hyland Jnr pulled out of the pair’s final eliminator.

There was huge sense of disappointment in the Woodruff camp when two-time challenger Hyland withdrew late last month.

Pearce has been coaching Newport’s Woodruff with Johan Berendjy as part of Team SMoA for five years, taking him from 86th to fourth in the UK rankings.

The 29-year-old has won four of his last five fights and most recently took part in an exhibition bout with new Cardiff pro Rashid Omar.

That was 24 hours before Welshman Gavin Gwynne, who is also in the running for a third shot at the Lonsdale Belt, made the first defence of his Commonwealth crown.

“Congratulations to Gavin and his team for defending the Commonwealth title and putting on a good show,” said Pearce.

“He deserves a third shot at the British based on recent results and I wouldn’t be surprised if he is chosen by the board (British Boxing Board of Control).

“Craig was granted a final eliminator with Paul Hyland Jnr who then pulled out, so we would like to see our man fight for the title because that would have happened if he’d beaten Hyland. Him pulling out shouldn’t go against Craig.

“If Craig doesn’t fight for the title directly, and the board nominate two other boxers to fight for it, he should take on the winner. But as nothing has been announced it’s difficult to know what’s happening.”

He added: “Craig was very disappointed when Hyland pulled out. We’d been offered a WBC title fight for good money and Craig turned it down because he wants the British.

“I hope the board will respect that and give him his opportunity.”

Meanwhile, Pearce and the NewportsRocky charity have been busy raising funds for good causes.

A dinner evening at the Celtic Manor, compered by former Wales rugby player Garin Jenkins MC, helped raise £5,000.

Featuring X Factor singer Russell Jones, the Universal Academy of the Arts dance troupe and RAF St Athan Voluntary Band, official presentations were made to trustee William J Routley and honorary president Richard Hill.

Artist Tom Sloan donated artwork and the money raised was as part of the Newport mayor's charity of the year in aid of the David 'Bomber' Pearce legacy.

There were multiple good causes supported on the night, with £1,000 raised for Supporting Nepal's Children to build a Vocational Training Centre (VTC). 

In addition, a £250 donation was made to St Joseph's ABC in support of their multi-faith prayer room costs.