You'll go a long way to see a better super heavyweight fight than the one New Zealand's Patrick Mailata and Englishman Frazer Clarke put on.

Two big men going toe-to-toe from the first bell to the last, this was a fight to savour; the Commonwealth Games final come early.

After three brutally entertaining rounds Mailata and Clarke, stablemates from the British Lionhearts team in the World Series Boxing, were on the ropes throwing down.

Mailata closed the gap nicely on the bigger Clarke and used his speed well throughout but, in the end, two standing eight counts in the first and last round probably cost him a split decision loss, with two of the three judges ruling in his favour.

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The 23-year-old Samoan-born Aucklander has come some distance from being eliminated in the round of 16 in Glasgow four years ago. The bronze he takes home here is evidence alone.

But in the immediate aftermath, having come so close to contesting the gold Clarke should claim, disappointment was his prevailing emotion.

"It's a wish I could thing now. If it had gone another 10 seconds longer at the end I could've gone close to putting him down," Mailata said. "Frazer got the best of me today I look forward to doing it again next time.

"I had my own set goals I really wanted to change the colour of my medal; I was confident I had the tools but he was the better man. I made a promise to my old man to make the final but I couldn't fulfill that today.

"He got the better of me today but I keep improving and I'm going to focus on the parts I did do well. I did a helluva lot better than at the last Commonwealth. I'm four years more mature, stronger, and mentally tougher. That was a good battle to showcase that."

With his efforts on the Gold Coast, Mailata proved he is an enticing prospect. And he now faces an interesting choice – stick with the grind of minimal funding to chase the Olympic dream, or turn to the potentially lucrative pro ranks where he could make a genuine impact.

"It comes down to funding. Back home boxing isn't a big thing in our country. I'd love to represent my country at the Olympics. I'd love to get a medal there but it all comes down to the support and what I can get. That's a whole talk for another day."

For now, attention turns supporting team-mate David Nyika who fights for heavyweight gold on Saturday.

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"I've got no doubt Dave will do it tomorrow and I look forward to being part of the team that made history."