The American dream turned into a mini nightmare for Dylan Moran late Friday night.
The Waterford fighter traveled Stateside hoping to register a win that would start a new exciting next level era of his career.
However his American and Star Boxing debut didn’t end as expected as he was defeated by Dennis Okoth.
Moran initially looked confident in his new surroundings, found a rhythm early, but just as it looked like he was about to begin to stamp real authority on proceedings he was caught and dropped.
Former international-level amateur Okoth was never going to let the 24-year-old off the hook and went for the kill. He dropped Moran twice more forcing the referee to call a halt to proceeds over half a minute shy of the end of the third.
Moran looked composed from the off and worked off a nice jab in the first. His skills looked superior, but Okoth always looked to answer back when caught. However, a beautifully executed upper cut caught the attention of the Kenyan and polished off an assured round.
The Waterford fighter started the second confidently and looked quite stylish in patches, but his opponent remained game and kept him honest with some solid shots of his own.
The Déise fighter started the third similarly confident and looked set top move through the gears. He landed some well time shots and increased the volume, but a right hand to the temple just over a minute in saw Moran hit the canvas.
He seemed to rise too quick and looked to be on unsteady legs. Okoth smelt blood and took advantage of the fact the Star Boxing fighter’s instinct was to fight rather than hold.
As a result the Irish fighter was backed to the ropes and dropped again. With still over one minute left in the round it was always going to be hard for the popular fighter to survive. The American-based African sensed it was his time to cause an upset went for the kill and got it, dropping Moran heavy 2:15 seconds into the third and winning the fight.
Such was the extent at which Moran hit the canvas his opponent delayed celebrating, but Moran when did rise to his feet and the emotional scars looked more obvious than any physical ones as the realization of his first defeat hit home.
The result means Moran’s record now reads 10(5)-1, while Okoth improves to 3(2)-2-1.
While Moran will be hurting now it’s not one of those defeats he can’t come back from. He wasn’t outclassed or out fought more a case of just getting caught by a good shot and not having the experienced needed to allow him to apply the survival tactics that may have allowed him time to recover.