Darragh Foley is back as entertaining and maybe even better than ever.
The Dubliner successfully ended a 19 month ring sabbatical with victory over Hunter Ioane on a No Limit card in Sydney this morning.
‘Super’ showed no signs of ring rust to drop and outpoint a game and aggressive Samoan on the Tszyu Horn 2.0 card.
The fight didn’t go the six, as the mandatory clash of heads in a Foley fight, saw Ioane eventually pulled out with a cut, forcing the bout to go the cards prematurely, with Foley deemed the clear winner.
However, the messy end didn’t tell the tale of what went before. Foley showed real power and career-best accuracy against a foe that kept him honest to the last, putting in the kind of performance that only increases his chances of a Stevie Spark fight.
Having shone throughout fight week, the Australian-based Dub performed for the cameras in the ring, and the drama continued post the final bell with the fighters sharing angry words rather than embracing.
Foley set a marker early and seemed to hurt his foe in the first. From there he was controlled and comfortable behind a solid jab while backing the come-forward fighter up.
However, in the last 30 seconds, Ioane had some moments and tried to tempt the Irish fighter into a brawl, hitting after the bell was part of that tactic.
Foley distanced himself from the emotion and was back on his southpaw jab in the second. The 33-year-old’s backhand was doing damage and making ‘The Coca Samoa’ think twice about marching forward. However, it was the right that did real damage and a short lead hook saw the Melbourne based fighter fall to his knees and visit the canvas.
Having oiled all the ring rust off in the opening two rounds Foley began to purr in round three, picking some lovely shots against a more desperate opponent. ‘Super’ landed clean backhands and vicious uppercuts but to his credit, Ioane kept coming. The Irish fighter was in control and looked capable of closing the show but as if to ensure ultimate entertainment the Blanch native abandoned his jab for the final 30 seconds of the round and took some shots.
Ioane was eating big shots clean early in the fourth before a clash of heads saw both cut. The taste of blood seemed to spur both to battle and a scrappy war threatened to break out with bombs rather than bullets being fired.
Foley hurt his foe again in the fifth but again Ioane kept marching forward. We looked set for an entertaining bloody final two rounds until the doctor and a brilliant old school gravel-toned referee deemed the away fighter’s cut was too severe for him to continue.
The fight ended at 1:25 in round 5 and Foley was afforded a 40-35, 40-35, 39-36 win.
After trading serious leather for 5 and half rounds the pair traded verbals post the stoppage and a rematch threatened to break out come result announcement time before Ioane stormed out of the ring.
The win sees Foley improve to 20-4-1 while his opponent’s record now reads 8-5-1.