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Battling Emmet Brennan passes tough New York test

Emmet Brennan navigated a potential banana skin on his big Apple bow in the early hours of Firday morning [Irish time].

Experienced veteran Devaun Lee had the credentials to make the Dubliner’s long-awaited dream New York debut a nightmare at the Sony Hall in Times Square.

The American came with a reputation for testing fighters in and around the ten-fight mark in recent years – and was said to have the ability to steal rounds.

The fact Shane Mosley Jr was the only fighter to stop him and he upset an 11-0-1 prospect this time last year had some in Irish boxing circles concerned.

They were right to put respect on Lee’s name and highlight him as a tricky opponent for a fighter with just two pro fights on his slate.

The 36-year-old certainly proved a test and asked question after question of the Dub, but Brennan had the answers and shaded a physical battle against the veteran of note.

The Irish fighter got the nod winning a 76-76, 78-74, 77-75 majority decision much to the delight of the Irish in the house.

Brennan moves to 3-0 after the fight but such a win over eight rounds means he has banked 10-0 kind of experience with his fast-track policy delivering.

Lee looked to start fast, got his jab off first and landed an eye-catching right hand early. Although once Brennan began to time the former Contender contestant and punish his aggression his opponent became more cautious, allowing the Irish fighter to pick some good combinations in a close opener.

The Olympian mixed it up in the second varying his approach and showing his inside capabilities, but again Lee was still there throwing and had some moments. The pair finished the rounds throwing getting those draped in tri colours up off their seats.

They went head to head in the third and a mini-war broke out with both eating head-snapping uppercuts. Brennan’s physicality allowed him to press the New Yorker back to the ropes but the experience of Lee, 36 showed with some of the crafty body work he landed.

The Dublin Docklands graduate looked to put some space between him and a game foe in the next, firing straight shots and looking to land clean one-twos. However, Lee, who was vocal throughout the stanza, always had an answer and looked to be growing in confidence in another back-and-forth round.

Just when it just looked like Brennan had reason to get discouraged, he produced his best round. Not quite on the back foot but he did stand off for the most part and picked some lovely shots. A straight right to the body and vicious hook to the liver looked to slow the American down somewhat, while a left hook landed clean and drew one of those telling smiles. There were also some combinations of note as he used skills to pay the bills.

Sensing the Inner City Dub may be taking over, Lee came out fast in the sixth but by this stage Brennan had found his range and was picking clean single shots with a number of right hands snapping back Lee’s head. Although to the local fighter’s credit he was still looking for work at the end of the session.

Brennan attempted to employ the fifth-round tactic in the seventh but the fact he had blood coming from his nose seemed to reinvigorate Lee. It was another tit-for-tat stanza with clean right hands exchanged and some body shots whipped into to both torsos. The Irish fighter also finished the round cut as the test continued to get harder.

There was a sense it was all up for grabs in the final round of a war of attrition. In keeping with seven rounds that had gone before it was entertaining and hard to score 3 minute session, but Brennan bit down on a gum shield that didn’t fit and landed the some big right hands to steal a crucial round.


Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years