Reece Bellotti was beaten by Francesco Grandelli in a WBC International Silver title fight on Friday evening in Trento, Italy.

The South Oxhey boxer lost to a split decision in the bout with the current Italian featherweight champion, but said he was surprised with the result and that he thought he at least deserved a draw for his efforts.

The two went head-to-head over the vacant title in a ten round fight that went the distance and Bellotti claimed the decision was tough to take, not least because of repeated holding from Grandelli.

"I'm gutted and frustrated not to have won," he said.

"It was a good fight, Grandelli is a decent fighter, his continual holding was annoying. He groaned every time I caught him to the body, I'm surprised he lasted the distance.

"Fair play to him in the ninth round, he produced a do or die effort, but I won the last, so I was surprised with the result, though I knew it was close.

"I thought at worst I would get, and deserved, a draw. For the fight to be so close and not to at least share the decision is tough to take."

Bellotti's trainer Jim McDonnell also thought The Bomber had done enough to win the fight, but said the referee's decision not to deduct points from Grandelli is what ultimately cost them the bout.

"It was a quality contest, ten rounds of non stop action," said McDonnell.

"Grandelli is fast and tricky, he was a quality international amateur, but he held throughout the bout.

"The ref kept warning Grandelli, but didn't deduct a point, that cost Reece the fight, as it didn't allow Reece to work properly inside.

"I still thought, as many of the Italian crowd thought, that Reece won, but it was close."