1 March 2009 – Press Release
Ireland beat the USA 9-3 at the National Stadium in Dublin to take a commanding advantage into Sunday’s second meeting between the nations at the Arch Centre in Athy.
Paddy Barnes, John Joe Nevin, Ross Hickey, Katie Taylor, Philip Sutcliffe, Willie McLoughlin, Darren O’Neill, Brendan Fitzpatrick and Con Sheehan had their hands raised in victory. Fitzpatrick, a late replacement for Ken Egan – and making his international debut – staged a stunning final round come back to edge out New Mexico light heavyweight Sijoula Shabazz 13-12 in an 81Kg thriller which had the crowd on their feet.
Paddy Barnes got Ireland off to a positive start with a three round blitz of Louie Byrd.The Belfast light flyweight, who claimed a bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics, took the first round 9-0 before cruising through the remaining two frames to a 22-2 verdict. Byrd insisted on standing toe-to-toe trading leather with Barnes in the first round. Big mistake, as the Holy Family club-man consistently hit the target via a barrage of rights and lefts.
Speaking after the fight, Barnes, who captained the Irish team tonight, said he was delighted with the win and praised his opponents courage.
He said, “I hit him with some great shots but there was no way he was backing down so fair play to him. I’m happy with my performance and the margin of victory.”
But while Barnes was celebrating, there was disappointment for Dublin Docklands flyweight Declan Geraghty who lost out to World champion Rau’shee Warren. The rapid fire Cincinatti puncher, who claimed gold at the 2007 World Championships in Chicago, won the first round 9-2 before registering a 15-4 victory.
Meanwhile, Irish 2008 Olympian John Joe Nevin produced another performance oozing with class and precision to out-gun Michigan bantamweight Ernesto Garza. Nevin was 6-0 up at the end of the first and 10-0 ahead at the end of the second before landing a sweet right upper cut in the third stanza en route to a 16-1 decision.
Carl Frampton, of the Midland club in Belfast, lost out to 2008 Olympian Raynall Williams. The American featherweight earned a 13-10 win despite a spirited fight back from Frampton in the third and final round.
Katie Taylor was next up, and what a performance from the World champion who was 9-0 ahead after the first round versus Queen Underwood. Taylor extended that advantage in the second before running out a comprehensive 30-3 winner. Ross Hickey also emerged victorious following an impressive 19-6 win over Eric Fowler.
Crumlin light welterweight Philip Sutcliffe also finished first past the post, recording a 13-9 win over Tennessee puncher Charles Watson from a bout which saw both both receive public warnings for dropping their shoulders in the second. Donegal welterweight Willie McLoughlin came from behind to outpoint Javontae Starks 15-10 in a hard hitting welterweight encounter. McLoughlin’s win saw Ireland surge into a 6-2 lead and ensured that the hosts could not be beaten with four bouts remaining to be decided.
Meanwhile, Darren O’Neill found himself 3-0 down two minutes into the opening round. But the Paulstown club-man finally found his range to level affairs at 3-3 before the bell.
O’Neill opened up in the second, two body shots and a sweet left the pick of the bunch from an array of punches that helped the Kilkenny middleweight to a 10-4 advantage before posting a 13-5 victory. Heavyweights Con Sheehan and Paul Koon performed something resembling a Haka in the ring before their 91Kg showdown. But it was the Tipperary man that showed he had the nimbler feet after dancing his way to hard punching 14-4 win. Michael Hunter ended the night on a positive note for the USA following a second round stoppage of Anthony Crampton.
48Kg:Paddy Barnes (Ireland) beat Louie Byrd (USA) 22-2
51Kg:Declan Geraghty (Ireland) lost to Rau’shee Warren (USA) 4-15
54Kg:John Joe Nevin (Ireland) beat Ernie Garza (USA) 16-1
57Kg:Carl Frampton (Ireland) lost to Raynall Williams (USA) 10-13
60Kg:Ross Hickey (Ireland) beat Eric Fowler (USA) 19-6
60Kg:Katie Taylor (Ireland) beat Queen Underwood (USA) 30-3
64kg:Philip Sutcliffe (Ireland) beat Charles Watson (USA) 13-9
69Kg:Willie McLoughlin (Ireland) beat Javontae Starks (USA) 15-10
75Kg:Darren O’Neill (Ireland) beat Aleem Whitfield (USA) 17-10
81Kg:Brendan Fitzpatrick (Ireland) beat Siju Shabazz (USA) 13-12
91Kg:Con Sheehan (Ireland) beat Paul Koon (USA) 14-4
91+Kg:Anthony Crampton (Ireland) lost to Michael Hunter (USA) RSC2