9 October 2010 – Steve Wellings
There was double Irish interest in the fourth heavyweight tournament of the Prizefighter series on Saturday October 9 as Kevin McBride and Declan Timlin featured.
It was Reading veteran Michael Sprott who eventually took the spoils in the final, beating old adversary Matt Skelton on a split decision but Clones native McBride could deem himself slightly unfortunate after dropping a contentious decision to Skelton in the semi-final. Big Kevin, weighing in at a whopping 20 and a half stone, appeared to have dropped Skelton with a chopping right hand in the second-round of their clash but Scottish referee Victor Loughlin missed the decisive blow, even though Matt believed he had been counted when asked in the post-fight interview.
Skelton had outpointed Ali Adams in his quarter-final, while McBride bested slippery African Franklin Egobi before the two engaged in a semi-final brawl.
Declan Timlin, meanwhile, returned to the boxing ring (from MMA) to put his 7-0 record on the line. Unfortunately the treacle footed Galway man was not at the races and was stopped in the second-round by unheralded Shane McPhilbin, trained by Carl Greaves, a regular visitor to these shores. McPhilbin who had arrived as a relative novice was defeated by the vastly more experienced Sprott (who toppled Danny Hughes in his opener) in their semi-final.
It wasnt the prettiest tournament in the popular series as inexperienced novices mixed with overweight, faded stars causing some of the contests to descend into messy brawls. McBride, however, could find himself propelled into an all-Irish showdown with the likes of Coleman Barrett or Martin Rogan after proving he still has something left to offer.