‘He didn’t win but he didn’t lose’ – Coach Kelly breaks down Morrissey – Cronin
Shaun Kelly admits he didn’t think Jamie Morrissey won his enthralling rematch with Kevin Cronin last Friday night but is adamant the Limerick fighter didn’t lose, vehemently refuting any cries of robbery in the process.
The second Fight of the Year candidate served up by the pair in the space of three months was scored as a split decision draw in Salthill on Friday.
Cronin and his team were visibly upset by the outcome and the Kerry fighters loyal support have been vocal about their dismay online since.
Kelly understands the frustration, particularly considering how ‘The Kingdom Warrior’ finished the fight but wasn’t happy with those crying foul.
The trainer scored the 10 round title fight even and wouldn’t have argued if either fighter had got the nod by a single stanza.
Speaking to those who claiming the result was unjust, the young Treaty Boxing coach pointed out it’s not when you win the rounds that count or how wide you win them, more the amount of rounds each fighter wins.
“It was a great fight, probably Fight of the Year. Hats off to both me, two really solid tough guys in there. That’s as tough a 10 rounder as you’ll see this year,” he told Irish-boxing.com in an honest interview.
“Cronin, with his determination and his gas tank really came on strong. It was genuinely a fight of two halves, Jamie did dominate the first half and Cronin the second.
“In the corner we had it a draw. We scored it 4-1 in our favour after five and 4-1 down in the last five, so that would have scored it a draw. Watching it back I actually had us 5-0 after five and 5-0 down between five and 10.
“I don’t think anyone can dispute Jamie won the first five. Credit to Kevin he did finish like a train and I know how to the general public read that, but the judges job is to score it round by round. If Cronin nicked it by a round I’d say ‘what about it’ and I’d say the same Jamie got it by a round.
“To be honest I don’t think Jamie won the fight but I genuinely do think it was a draw.”
Morrissey’s coach also accepted his fighter was fortunate not to have a point deducted in the last round after his gumshield came out three times.
However, he claims the occurrence was more misfortune than misdemeanour.
“We were lucky not to get a point taken. It wasn’t the gumshield Jamie has moulded by a dentist. He wasn’t spitting it out, two times I noticed it was a punch knocking it out and that’s why the ref didn’t take a point. We were lucky but that’s the way it goes,” he continues before once again sharing his draw beliefs.
“I still think a draw was a fair result. I’ve seen a bit online. It’s understandable, his crowd think he won the fight. I don’t he won the fight, I don’t think Jamie won the fight the draw was a fair score, five rounds a piece.”
The Limerick coach has been asking more pertinent questions than those surrounding the scorecards post the fight.
Kelly notes Morrissey faded bad, and while he claims that is somewhat understandable considering a fighter with no amateur experience was going into a 10 round title fight in just his sixth outing, he says it’s something he as a trainer needs to address.
“Jamie looked very down after the fight, that’s understandable he took a hiding in the last round. I’d be upset if I got a hiding in the last round. I think he was really demoralized because he knew he threw away a big lead, he knew he was throwing it away round by round and I could see he was deteriorating by the minute in there,” he continues.
“Maybe I’ve questions to answer on that, we’d been working mainly on technical pad work for the fight. We weren’t really going through any gruelling session, maybe we’ll have to work on that for the next camp. I do feel the technical things we were working on he implemented very well for the first half of the fight, but there is an element of learning in the job. You have to remember Jamie only have five fights under his belt and he was going into a 10 rounder and a title fight. No one does that after five fights.”
Picture Credit Mark Mead Photography