Dublin teen Willo Hayden made an impressive and successful start to pro-life on the ‘Night of Champions’ bill at the Arena Birmingham this afternoon.
The Crumlin BC graduate was handed a relatively difficult start against Dean Jones over six rounds as opposed to the free hit four-rounder most first-timers are given.
The experienced journeyman has fought 30 times in three years, entirely out of the away corner, winning just once but impressively only being stopped once – a ‘TKO’ loss that came in the sixth and final round versus prospect Dean Dodge due to a cut.
Hayden wasn’t able to register the statement knockout win but did impress with an aggressive all-action style, banked six very valuable rounds and registered a 59-55 points win on the undercard of Anthony Cacace’s British title defence against Lyon Woodstock.
The 19-year-old did flirt with an impressive early finish on one occasion but when struggling when on the end of some fine Hayden bodywork Jones was able to slow things down and survive.
That ‘suited to the pro’s’ style was evident from the off as Hayden got straight down to business. The Phil Suttclife trained prospect set a high pace and went downstairs against a relatively negative survival specialist.
The Dubliner passed an early chin check in the third and flirted with getting the stoppage in the fourth, again the bodywork proving effective.
The European Schoolboy gold medal winner went for the finish in the fifth, increasing an already high work rate and letting big shots go. However, the English journeyman made the final stanza and ultimately the final bell as Hayden took his foot off the accelerator in the last.
The win see’s Hayden add his first w to his record while Jones slips to 1-30-0.