AFTER well over a year out of the ring, Galway southpaw John Cooney stopped Engel Gomez in Belfast tonight.
Cooney was a far superior force to the Nicaraguan, and will be very pleased to have got the knockout after such a long time out of the ring.
While Cooney was always likely to be the victor, what was going to be interesting was how he would do it. When he looks back on his night’s work Cooney may view it as something of a curate’s egg of a performance, with positives to take, but still plenty to work on.
First of all the negatives, Gomez did catch him with eye catching shots on a number of occasions, although they had relatively little impact. More positively he did dominate the fight, was on the front foot almost always, and did very well to force the stoppage at the point that he did.
From the outset Cooney showed good movement and was using the ring better than his opponent. He rocked Gomez midway through the round and kept punishing his opponent’s body, but didn’t really come close to forcing the stoppage that would come later on.
Again in the second Cooney dominated and wobbled Gomez after just 40 seconds. but, while he was clearly second best, Gomez did managed to land a few decent shots also.
Cooney started the third well, but he did take a good right hand after a minute, before he took over late in the round. He would dominate the last minute forcing a knock down and ending it seconds later with a hard left hand.
Forcing a knock out in a televised fight is obviously very positive for the Galway man who goes to 6-0 after a long lay-off.