HE MIGHT not have won the biggest fight of his career in London last weekend but veteran Lee Churcher has no plans to throw in the towel just yet.

In fact, it was his performance in a bout he took at only four weeks’ notice that makes the 37-year-old believe there is every reason for him to carry on.

Newport’s Churcher was stopped by Joe Mullender in the penultimate round of their tussle for the vacant IBF European middleweight title on Saturday night.

The Welshman enjoyed some success early on in the contest but a lack of preparation time took its toll as Mullender powered ahead.

However, he struggled to find a knockout blow, and when it did come it was more a case of Churcher’s fatigue, rather than Mullender’s punching power, that did for the former soldier.

Giving his take on proceedings, and the future, Churcher said: “It was really frustrating for me.

“I just didn’t have the energy because the time I had to prepare simply wasn’t enough.

“Four weeks of training for a 12-round fight isn’t enough, maybe I could have done it 15 years ago but not at 37.

“The most frustrating part of it all was that I won the first couple of rounds but couldn’t keep it going, whereas he had three months to train for it and was really fit.

“I’m still really happy with how I performed and I actually surprised myself with the way I fought fire with fire.

“I pushed myself like I had never pushed myself before and had trained so hard in the time I had that I felt really good going in there, and I wasn’t nervous at all.

“It was a big opportunity and I’m disappointed not to win the title but at the same time happy with how it went. I know that sounds strange but it shows me what I could do if I was given longer to prepare for something like that in the future.

“The way I fought has given me a lot of heart and pride and I’ve had lots of positive feedback from people up and down the country, as well as my family and friends.

He added: “Obviously because of my age there has been speculation about my future but I will definitely keep going.

“But at the same time I know I’ve got four children to think about and I have to do what’s best for them and my girlfriend.

“That was the best performance of my career by far given the notice I had, but I’m not going to be fighting at middleweight again.

“I fought at middleweight this time because it was such a good opportunity for me and I couldn’t turn it down, but from now on it’s going to be light- middleweight.

“Gavin (Rees, trainer) was really happy with Saturday’s fight but he agrees that I should be at light- middleweight, so I’ll be back in the gym after Christmas to start preparing for the next one.”