What a night for Irish boxing fans. In a show that really lived up to the hype and billing, ‘Clash of the Titans’ had fans on the edge of their seats throughout with three domestic title fights and a host of 50-50 matchups on the card.
Here’s a look at how the action unfolded –
In the headline bout, Eric Donovan 9-0 (5 KO’s) claimed the Irish featherweight title in dramatic fashion with a stunning 4th round stoppage against the brave Stephen McAfee 5-1-1(2 KO’s).
Donovan controlled the fight from the start with a snapping jab and trademark quick combinations while McAfee looked to press the action with pressure and clever movement. McAfee did have moments of success with a few thudding hooks landing, however the Sallynoggin man came undone in round 4 when Donovan landed a perfect hook to the body to send McAfee sinking to canvas, who bravely rose unsteadily at the count of nine with the referee waving the fight off to send the crowd into raptures and giving Donovan the biggest win of his pro career in a bout that lived up to it’s headline billing.
In the co-main event, Victor Rabei 7-0 (2 KO’s) retained his Celtic light-welterweight strap with a career best performance against the returning Jake Hanney 5-2(4 KO’s).
In a close bout, Rabei landed the more eye-catching cleaner shots against Hanney who was returning to the ring following a two-year break. Hanney did press the action and had moments of success notably in the 2nd with a thudding left hook and landed several jarring uppercuts throughout.
However, Rabei remained calm and controlled throughout and took control down the stretch with Hanney possibly feeling the ring rust starting to tell, Rabei took advantage and pressed the action in the final two rounds to go on to claim a unanimous points win - 79-73, 77-75, 78-74.
In the first title fight of the evening, Allan Phelan 10-3 (7 KO’s) stopped Aiden Metcalfe 2-1 in the sixth round in the Celtic super-featherweight contest.
Phelan’s power was the difference throughout despite Metcalfe having success with his accurate counters. The end came in round 6 with Phelan dropping Metcalfe with a big left hook, Metcalfe rose and fought fire with fire but was then dropped again by a short right hook. Metcalfe rose bravely again but the towel was thrown in shortly after by Metcalfe’s corner.
In another entertaining domestic bout, fan favourite Martin Quinn 3-1 claimed a deserved, hard-fought points win over the tough Francy Luzoho 1-1 in a 6-round contest. In a close fight throughout, Quinn seemed to outwork his former amateur foe to claim a flattering points win 59-55.
Here’s a roundup of the rest of action –
Limerick light-middleweight Graham McCormack moved to 4-0 with a unanimous points win in an entertaining brawl with Jade Karam 9-10
Katelynn Phelan, Ireland youngest female pro at 18, made the perfect start to her pro career with a unanimous points win over the tough Monika Antonik from Poland
Top welterweight prospect Dylan Moran made it 10-0 (5 KO’s) in a tough test with the cagey former european champion Gyorgy Mizsei Jr . Moran edged a points win 79-74
Cavan light-middleweight Owen Duffy 4-1, bounced back from a recent defeat to outwork and outclass Gergo Vari in a 40-36 points win
Irish super-bantamweight champ Carl McDonald 6-3 wasn’t hanging around as he blasted out David Botos in the first round with a cracking bodyshot
Bray super-bantamweight Sam Carroll made a great start to life in the pros with an impressive points win 40-36 over the awkward Kamil Jaworek.
Kerry light-heavyweight Kevin Cronin showed he carries genuine power in his debut as he dropped and then stopped Mateusz Lisiak in round four of their contest
Siobhan O’Leary moved to 2-0 and had to go to the trenches in a hard-fought points win over the tough Bojana Libiszewska
Keane ‘The Iceman’ McMahon 6-0 (3 KO’s) was in a mean mood as he went to work early on Jan Salamancha, dropping him twice and following up with a flurry of punches to force the referee to stop the contest in round one
Hard-hitting super-middleweight Vladimir Belujsky 7-2-1 got the night underway with a dominant points win 40-36 over Michal Ciach
Photos - The Fighting Irish.ie