PRO boxing returned to Cork for the first time in a decade on with the “Leeside Revolution”.
It was actually a promoter from a Muay Thai background, Martin Horgan, who took the plunge to bring the sweet science back to the Rebel County, putting on a bumper cross-promotion at the atmospheric Neptune Basketball Stadium on the north side of the Ireland’s third city.
Based in Woodlawn, New York, Macroom’s Noely Murphy had the opportunity to box in his home county of Cork for the first time as a professional. An Irish title fight had been planned but two separate opponents pulled out, leaving headliner Murphy frustratingly reduced to an eight-round international contest.
Faced with tricky Hungarian Adam Mate, Murphy patiently went about his business versus a reluctant-to-engage opponent, eventually winning out 79-74 on referee David Irving’s card and delighting his loud and large following.
The main event was followed by a six-round domestic which was the most anticipated clash on the card among Irish boxing hardcores and saw Bray super-welter Eddie Treacy obliterate Shercock’s Owen Duffy.
Following an aggressive start, Treacy dropped Duffy heavily with a perfect left hook in the second and then forced the stoppage seconds later, with referee Emile Tiedt waving the bout off after 1-15 of the round with the towel coming in at the same time.
In a clash between two local debutants, Cork-based Pole Staz Tomasevski edged past Dunmanway’s Oisin O’Donovan in a messy, bloody, and thrilling four-rounder. O’Donovan showed plenty of grit and seemed to be the more skilled but the better-conditioned Tomasevski battled through to claim a 39-38 win on Mr Irving’s scorecard following a chip shop brawl.
Killarney super-feather Siobhán O’Leary continued to enhance her reputation as a knockout puncher, dropping Slovak Denisa Cicoova twice – first to the head and then to the body – before referee Padraig Ó Reachtagáin halted the contest after 1-59 of the third of four two-minute rounds.
Heavy-handed Mitchelstown super-middle Vladimir Belujsky saw a WBO Youth title fight fall through last month so kept busy here with a dominant win over Hungarian Norbert Szekeres, Mr Ó Reachtagáin scoring the four rounder 40-36 in his favour.
Powerful Drumgoon super-welter Dominic Donegan impressed again, needing two minutes exactly to drop Bulgarian Adrian Aleksiev twice and lead Mr Irving to stop the four-round fight.
Likeable Garryowen super-welter Graham McCormack was being given all sorts of problems by Reyhan Todorov in their four-rounder but pulled out a stunning stoppage win.
Dropping and hurting the Bulgarian near the end of the second – an incident which was ruled a slip by Mr Irving – McCormack then put the visitor on the flat of his back with a short hook. The bell to end the round would go and Todorov would just about beat the count, but the bout was waved off.
Popular Waterford super-middleweight Craig McCarthy had Lajos Szilagyi down in the opening session of their four and almost forced Mr Tiedt to stop the bout in the assault afterwards before the Hungarian retired after 1-32 of the third citing an elbow injury.
Returning from a defeat last time out, Navan super-middle Chris Blaney was given a good run-out by Michal Gazdik. Blaney dropped the Slovak in the fourth following a big body shot but Gazdik would not lie down, with the Ricky Hatton-trained home fighter eventually taking a 59-55 points win on Mr Tiedt’s ledger.
Irish super-welter champion Craig O’Brien was another keeping busy. The slick Inner-City Dubliner cruised past Bulgarian Radoslav Mitev, boxing in first gear and claiming a 60-54 win with Mr Ó Reachtagáin. “The Iron” now looks set to focus his attentions on fighting on the U.S. East Coast, specifically the Boston area.
Young Bray super-bantam Sam Carroll showed quick hands against Bulgarian Georgi Andonov and did damage with hooks in the third and fourth as he ran out a 40-36 winner on Mr Tiedt’s scorecard.
Opening the boxing portion of the show, following a WBC Muay Thai super-lightweight world title win for local Sean Clancy, teenage Kildare super-lightweight Katelynn Phelan showed plenty of improvements as she outpointed Bulgarian veteran Galina Gyumliyska 40-36 on Mr Ó Reachtagáin’s card.
THE VERDICT: Let’s hope Cork doesn’t have to wait 10 years for the next pro show.
RESULTS BOX: Noely Murphy (145 3/4lbs), 14-1-1 (2), w pts 8 Adam Mate (149 1/4lbs), 28-15 (21); Eddie Treacy (156 1/4lbs), 3-0 (2), w rsf 2 Owen Duffy (156 1/4lbs), 4-2 (2); Staz Tomasevski (195 3/4lbs), 1-0, w pts 4 Oisín O’Donovan (198 1/2lbs), 0-1; Graham McCormack (158lbs), 5-0 (1), w rsf 2 Reyhan Todorov (157lbs), 4-5 (2); Craig O’Brien (158lbs), 11-1 (1), w pts 6 Radoslav Mitev (156lbs), 13-52-2 (4); Vladimir Belujsky (170lbs), 8-2-1 (6), w pts 4 Norbert Szekeres (172lbs), 18-75-4 (9); Chris Blaney (164lbs), 12-2-1 (3), w pts 6 Michal Gazdik (166lbs), 4-5 (3); Siobhan O’Leary (132 1/4lbs), 3-0 (2), w rsf 3 Denisa Cicoova (130lbs), 1-2 (1); Dominic Donegan (157lbs), 2-0 (1), w rsf 1 Adrian Aleksiev (157lbs), 0-3-1; Craig McCarthy (170 1/2lbs), 7-0 (2), w rsf 3 Lajos Szilagyi (169lbs), 6-5 (6); Sam Carroll(125 1/2lbs), 2-0, w pts 4 Georgi Andonov (124lbs), 5-14 (1); Katelynn Phelan(149lbs), 2-0, w pts 4 Galina Gyumliyska (149lbs), 11-41-1 (1).