The co-promoter of Celtic Clash series seemed content with how his fourth promotional installment went from a business standpoint, but there was one fight that made him return to the vocal fan he was known for before he entered the organisational side of things
Gunning was as excited as in any in the National Stadium last Saturday night after two domestic fighters produced the kind of awe inspiring action it seems only an all-Irish clash can deliver.
Stephen McAfee and Colin O’Donovan started tentatively in a domestic clash that probably didn’t get the billing it deserved due to being announced less than a week out, but the fight built into something extraordinary.
By the end of a sensational round six, the pair had painted each other in blood. The white shorts had become a boxing Jackson Pollock. Those lucky few who got to witness it will cry shame as the battle of pride and will wasn’t broadcast to the masses, but it’s six rounds of blood and gut action they will never forget.
One of the shows promoters certainly feels it’s a fight worth recognising and labelled it the fight of the year and it seems to be one he plans to promote again.
However, next time he hopes to ensure that there is more than pride on the line.
Speaking of the Dublin v Cork crowd pleaser Gunning said that “had the hair on the back of my neck standing up.”
“Stephen Mcafee and Colin O’Donovan served up a scrap exactly how we all want it. Two eager, talented, hungry Irish lads willing to prove that they are ready to talked about amongst the growing list of Irish prospects.”
“Neither was willing to give and inch and anyone lucky enough to witness their sixth and final round won’t be long forgetting it. That was the all-Irish fight of the year right there.”
“Both guys can be so proud of that draw, maybe a rematch for the Celtic title in the new year is in order.”
Beforehand, the winner of the bout was promised a shot at the BUI Celtic title in the new year, however a draw is perhaps the best result, setting the scene for a rematch fro the belt.
Indeed it would be a bout with plenty of questions. McAfee noted afterwards that he somewhat lost the head and began loading up after the opening round, while O’Donovan took the fight at short notice.
Both will be better by the time a rematch comes around on Celtic Clash 5 or 6, and it certainly seems that a small-scale Irish rivalry similar to the likes of Anto Fitzgerald and Robbie Long has been born.
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)