Ireland’s Biggest Punchers – Part Two
By Joe O’Neill- follow Joe on Twitter @joe_90
Following on from Wednesdays article (rish-boxing.com continues its look at Ireland’s heaviest punchers. In truth, such is the abundance of talent on the island, restricting this list to just ten boxers was an immensely difficult task.
Unquestionably the hardest hitting puncher in his division, IBF super bantamweight champion Carl Frampton [20(14)-0] is also probably Ireland’s pound-for-pound number one fighter. The Belfast man’s arsenal includes explosive straights and hooks, as well as devastating attacks to the body, all of which have been honed by the cutting edge training he receives at McGuigan’s Gym in Battersea
Evidence of the Tiger’s Bay boxer’s unparalleled power at the weight can be seen in his victories in 2013 and last September over Kiko Martínez for the European and World titles respectively. Having previously never been knocked down, Frampton knocked the tough Spaniard out in the ninth round of their first bout before flooring him again en-route to his World title win.
Frampton enhanced his reputation further in February in his first title defense when he knocked the iron-chinned Chris Avalos out in the fifth round. The 28 year old will defend his title once again some time this summer and it would be a foolish man who bets against another stoppage victory.
In 2013, at the tender age of just 19, ‘The Baby-Faced Assassin’ became Ireland’s youngest professional champ in 65 years when he knocked the veteran Micky Coveney out in the second round of their super featherweight title bout.
Now 21, and a division lighter, Tennyson [12(9)-1(1)] is within punching distance of the British featherweight title. This is due to his recent, career-best, win over Kris Hughes for the Celtic Title. Hughes was disqualified in the seventh round of the fight for persistent holding and the Scot later admitted that these infractions were due to his inability to deal with the Belfast man’s power. This victory was preceded by another stoppage win where the Kronk fighter inflicted a rare stoppage defeat upon the durable Lithuanian, Simas Volosinas.
Featherweight/Super Featherweight/Lightweight is one of the most packed areas in Irish boxing and Tennyson knows that, if he lands clean, he can beat any of his rivals. He fights again on June 6th at The Devenish against Krzysztof Rogowski [9(4)-13(6)] of Poland – and another early finish would seem likely
22 year old Burnett [9(7)-0] is one of the hottest prospects in Irish boxing. The 2010 Youth Olympic has boxing skills to burn as well as vicious power. Turning pro under Ricky Hatton back in 2013, Burnett mowed through most of his early opponents.
Now training with Adam Booth, the Belfast phenom began 2015 in impressive fashion with a second round stoppage of Isaac Owusu, his toughest opponent to date. Two fights later, and on his U.S. debut, Burnett finished Stephon McIntyre within a round – nailing his man to the floor with a gut-wrenching body punch. Such was the power of the left hook, McIntyre was unable to make it to his feet for almost ten minutes.
Booth has boldly claimed that Burnett will be in-and-around the Top 10 in the world by 2016 and, if the Belfast firecracker continues to knock out his opponents with such ferocity, this prediction could come true.
24 next week, Jason Quigley [6(6)-0] is living the American dream having been signed by Golden Boy Promotions and fighting out of Los Angeles. The Donegal man has had a perfect start to his career so far and, across his 6 professional fights, he has only been in the ring for a total of 23 minutes – as he has said “I don’t get paid for overtime.”
Quigley’s wiry frame would perhaps suggest that he does not possess notable power, however, as is said in boxing, ‘speed equals power’ and the 2013 European gold and World silver medalist throws frighteningly fast punches.
The Ballybofey boxer’s most impressive knockout so far came in his last fight against Joshua Snyder, his toughest opponent to date. Quigley dispatched his man in the second round with a beautiful left hook to the chin. It can be expected that he will fight regularly in the coming months as the marketable middleweight seeks to build an American fanbase. More spectacular knockout victories will only help this endeavour.
Another man with a 100% knockout ratio, Tommy McCarthy is an extremely powerful puncher. In his own words – when he lands, it’s “Bang! Sleeytime”
A former Elite National Champion, the 2010 Commonwealth silver medalist possess considerable boxing skills to supplement his ever-growing power. The charismatic 24 year old had an impressive debut year and is now hoping to move up the ranks and challenge for titles in 2015.
In his last bout, in February at the Red Cow Moran Hotel, McCarthy scored a stunning final round left hook knockout of Jakub Wojcik. Recently the Belfast man has had some top quality sparring with unbeaten Danish WBC International champion Micki Nielsen. McCarthy’s manager, Pat Magee, is on the lookout for opponents for his tough-to-match fighter and, whoever he secures, ‘The MacAttack’ will be looking to put them to sleep.