McDonagh’s coach claims referee assisted O’Kane’s PF win
By Jonny Stapleton
JJ McDonagh’s trainer believes Eamonn O’Kane’s Prizefighter victory came thanks to a poor refereeing display rather than any supremacy from the ‘King’.
Colin Morgan was furious his Mullingar fighter was docked a point in the last stanza and was constantly warned throughout the all Irish Prizefighter decider.
Indeed the coach says O’Kane should have been warned for boring in with his head and hinted the Derry fighter, as a Matchroom fighter was favoured ahead of the decider.
Morgan was adamant referee Terry O’Connor docked a point because he felt the decider was close and ultimately won the clash for O’Kane.
“I think he took a point to make sure that if the fight was close O’Kane would win. I think he was afraid the fight was close so if he took a point he could make sure the other guy won. It’s boxing there is nothing you can do about it,” Morgan said straight after the final.
“It think it was unfair. The referee shouldn’t have got involved like that. Every time they got in a clinch and he warned JJ for something the other guy (O’Kane) was doing. The other guy hit low six times and he said nothing. JJ went low once and he docked a point. He wanted to make sure JJ lost. I don’t think its unfair. It is the final. Its bad when the referee decides a fight.”
O’Kane won the latest instalment of the all action tournament by a judges scorecard of 30-27, 30-26, 29-27 so looked on course for victory regardless. However, Morgan feels the Westmeath man done enough to register a win that would have sent his bank balance north.
The trainer, who also works with the Cork based Cubans, said the Irish super middleweight champion did all the clean work and all but labelled O’Kane’s efforts dirty.
“If the referee didn’t take the point I had JJ as the winner. O’Kane is running in and JJ is hitting him, tying him up or turning him. O’Kane wasn’t landing the only time he hit JJ was hit was when the other guy got close, then he landed some body shots. There was nothing clean. JJ had the clean right uppercuts and cleaner work. The referee just interfered and interfered. O’Kane is running in using his head and then the referee warns JJ for holding? If he does he is going to get caught in the head,” he added.
McDonagh struggled at times to keep the physically impressive O’Kane off him through out the final. Morgan’s revelation that his fighter was working with damaged tools, in this case his hands, explains why he lacked the power to keep his opponent off.
“JJ hurt both his hands in the first fight so if you notice he isn’t really going hard through the fights he was just going through the paces. We told JJ to use the jab and make the other guy swing and miss. When they got in close I told him to hold O’Kanes head to avoid the head butt. O’Kane was just running in with his head,” he concluded.