REFREREE Kieran McCann definitely won’t be on Kieran Gething’s Christmas card list this year after ending the Welsh champion’s involvement in the Golden Contract super-lightweight tournament.

Gething’s quarter-final against Jeff Ofori at York Hall finished as a draw, leaving McCann to have the final say on which of the two fighters would progress to next spring’s semis.

McCann, who handed Pontypool’s Gething his first defeat in the paid ranks in March 2017, went with Londoner Ofori, an 11th hour replacement for Lewis Benson.

Gething, 25, says he can take some comfort from the fact that the result will go on his record as a draw, but missing out on the chance to land a two-year, five-fight deal hurts a lot.

“I thought the referee was unfair from the start,” he said. “He was warning me about use of the head, but I felt that was down to my opponents’ positioning.

“And then he warned me for holding, but Jeff was leaning forward when we went into the clinches.

“I can see how the judges gave it as a draw, but I still think the cleaner work came from me, the punch stats show that.

“I feel the refereeing affected my performance because I became cautious and didn’t fully commit to working on the inside.”

He added: “I was absolutely gutted to not go through, I thought I won.

"It’s a bit of a saving grace that it goes down on my record as a draw and not a loss.

"I keep my position in the British rankings, and I’ve got another fight in the tournament against one of the other losing quarter-finalists.

“And if I beat someone like Logan Yoon then it could get me into the top 100 in the world rankings.”

Gething isn’t sure what would happen if one of the four remaining fighters were to withdraw from the tournament before March’s semi-finals.

“I’m sparring with Joe Hughes next week to help him prepare for his European title fight,” he continued.

“I’ll stay ready and maybe look to do a longer training camp before March.

“I would like to go for a Celtic title in 2020, I think that’s the next step."