MARK Quirey has vowed to carry on fighting despite his disappointing Eastern Counties senior elite ABA final defeat to Ben Roberts.

The Berry Boys ABC super-heavyweight lost on a TKO in the 91kg-plus showdown after the referee stopped the bout during the second round.

Mark Quirey (white vest) v Ben Roberts (black vest), round one

Quirey, who celebrated his 40th birthday yesterday, was upset by the manner of the defeat but does not want to quit the ring after more than 30 years.

“I love it too much,” Quirey said. “I want to do something else — I can’t walk away because I’ve been boxing since I was seven.

“Some people, including my dad, want me to stop but I’m still thinking about it.

“I want to have another amateur bout.”

Quirey gave away 15 years and three stone to Norfolk champion Roberts, who fights out of the King’s Lynn’s Heros Gym.

Mark Quirey (white vest) v Ben Roberts (black vest), round two

Roberts received a standing eight count in the first round after being floored by Quirey but recovered.

The Norfolk fighter returned the favour in the second round and although Quirey indicated he wanted to carry on with the three-round bout, the referee stopped the contest.

Quirey added: “The bloke didn’t throw a legal punch; he ripped by vest where he was pulling me and was leaning on me over the ropes.

“Some people have said he should have been disqualified but he did not even get a warning, so I’m totally gutted.

“I should have done him in the first round but I thought I could control the fight and take my time. I wish I had finished it in that opening round.”

Meanwhile Eastern Counties champion Sam Malone is confident he can secure a national quarter-final place in the ABA championships.

Rayleigh ABC boxer Malone defeated Norwich Lads’ Rylan Charlton over three rounds to secure a unanimous points victory at The Paddocks on Canvey.

Sam Malone (red vest) v Rylan Charlton (blue vest), round one

That earned him a pre-quarter final place and a chance to meet the southern area champion at Aldershot on Saturday.

Malone is not sure who he will be taking on but has been boosted by his Eastern Counties triumph.

“I’m still feeling in pretty good shape and am confident going into the weekend,” said Malone.

“We had a game plan against Charlton and knew he was going to come out fired up for it.

Sam Malone (red vest) v Rylan Charlton (blue vest), round two

“I think the fight went well and according to plan. My cornermen were telling me to keep him back because we knew he would come forward because he was shorter than me.”

The elite championships are being fought without boxers wearing headguards for the first time and Malone welcomed the change.

Sam Malone (red vest) v Rylan Charlton (blue vest), round three

“It was the first time I had fought without a headguard and I loved it,” he said. “It was much better because with headguards you are constantly adjusting them. I also didn’t notice any difference when he landed punches to when I have fought with headgaurds.”