“I’m not the type [to make] apologies, but I have to pay tribute to Rob in the second round, ”Till said at Saturday’s post-fight press conference. “He hit me in the knee, like I did to Stephen Thompson. They should be illegal – it just blew my knee, like my knee just [blew] under me, crashed. It was then for the whole fight. I just had to stay static and sort of fight over it.
“I even hid the pain, I don’t think he recognized it. But I was still in there. I’m not trying to sit here and say, “Oh, my knee’s gone,” whatever. Maybe it just stopped me from bouncing around a bit, but it was a really good fight. I feel like I won it. I feel like we both won the fight – I’m not saying I feel like I won it, it’s just that we both won. It was a clinically formidable match.
While judges Ben Cartlidge, Anders Ohlsson and Clemens Werner all submitted 48-47 points for Whittaker, the media scorecards were split down the middle between “The Reaper” and Till. Ultimately, it was Whittaker’s ability to land with greater volume – including the aforementioned leg strikes – that made the difference.
Until the fight could have gone either way, and he remains confident in his ability to be a factor in the middleweight division on the road.
“Maybe I was missing some of the things we worked on in the gym and it’s a little disappointing. But I say it convincingly here, I’m going to be a champion, ”Till said. “It’s just little walls you face, but it’s not like I’ve lost and I’m thinking, ‘Awwww.’ Both men could have won this fight tonight. I was the strongest guy, I got the strongest hits. Rob was the busiest guy. Sometimes that’s how combat is. Some judges got to see the powerful blows in the fight, and other judges like tonight saw the busier fighter win the fight. I just thought we both won. He obviously won, but in my mind we both won.
The most immediate future will likely involve surgery and rehabilitation for Till, but he won’t be short of options once he’s ready to return.
“I’m probably going to have a little surgery now,” he says. ” It’s nothing. I want to go back to the gym. Fix that, get back to the gym, and there’s a million fights for me, and I’m one of the best guys in this organization and will continue to be.