Danny O’Connor defeats Michael McLaughlin Owen in Boston war

In an exciting clash, Irish-American Danny O’Connor overcame Michael McLaughlin Owen in a fight which exploded into action in a fantastic second half

A bout with no love lost in the build-up, the skill of O’Connor overcame the will of McLaughlin in the eight-round title fight at the House of Blues on the Murphys Boxing ‘St Patrick’s Clash 2’ bill in Boston.

In what was a battle of the southpaws, Danny Bhoy reclaimed the New England welterweight title while also picking up the Celtic Nations belt.

O’Connor, a reserve for the US Olympic team at the 2008 Games, used his skills to stay on top in the early rounds, although the big backhand left of McLaughlin was regularly finding its way through.

McLaughlin looked to be feeling the pace as the bout entered the sixth round, but the Cardonagh man would stun O’Connor as they traded hooks and the fight descended into a blood and guts battle.

O’Connor would come back strong in the penultimate round hoever, and was able to spin McLaughlin into a corner and land numerous unanswered shots in the final seconds.

Amazingly, the pendulum would swing back McLaughlin’s way at the start of the eighth, as he again hurt O’Connor with a succession of wide hooks which snapped the head of the Framingham boxer back.

Frustratingly, although thankfully not crucially, McLaughlin saw his gumshield, which must have been incorrectly fitted, fall out for a third time in the final round, resulting in a point deduction. Perhaps knowing he needed a stoppage, the Donegal man again began throwing huge shots, and stunned O’Connor yet again in a frantic final minute.

Going to the cards, a majority decision was announced, with one judge scoring a 76:76 draw but being over-ruled by two 79:72 tallies for O’Connor, a deserved winner.

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie