The Awards – ‘The Micky Ward Round of the Year’

Three minutes seems like a short period but it can be a lifetime in the ring. Fights can be won and lost in a round, and legendary moments and memories can be born.

In Ireland this year there were plenty of such memorable rounds and here we look to crown the best one.

This award is named in honour of Irish-American star Micky Ward who was one half of the Round of the Century, the legendary Round 9 of his 2002 battle with Arturo Gatti.

And the nominees are:

Round 8 – Peter McDonagh v Dean Byrne
This Galway v Dublin battle for the Irish welterweight title climaxed in the eight round in fantastic see-saw fashion. Byrne hurt McDonagh early in the eight stanza, only for the MGM fighter to rally back and hurt the Dubliner in return – all set amongst the backdrop of two sets of fans chanting their man’s names.

Round 7 – Jamie Conlan v Junior Granados
Nominted more for its drama rather than its competitiveness. Conlan found himself on the floor early in the round following a sickening skimming body shot from the Mexican outsider. He rose but was then subjected to a sustained barrage of punches before falling again. Somehow, miraculously, helped by the will of the entire crowd, Conlan got to his feet and survived the round.

Round 4 – Conrad Cummings v Alfredo Meli
The ‘All on the Line’ headliner was ten rounds of action and it was hard to pick just one for this category, but Round 4 shades it for us. A microcosm of the fight – Meli was the busier in the opening stages, showing good skills and activity to outland the Tyrone man, but Cummings would had a very strong final minute, scoring with heavy shots

Round 3 – Gary O’Sullivan v Chris Eubank Jr
A brilliant, if bittersweet, three minutes. Spike threw all he had at the Brighton middleweight and landed multiple massive left hooks that would have obliterated many. While he certainly stiffened the legs of the Englishman, sadly for the O’Sullivan it seems that chins are genetic, with Eubank Jr exhibiting the same sort of whiskers that his father was noted for, and the Matchroom star made it through the onslaught and went on to win the fight.

Round 2 – Ger Whitehouse v Radoslav Mitev
This fight was meant to be an exhibition for Whitehouse’s skills but the Balbriggan youngster was clipped with a heavy shot in the second round. A mixture of inexperience and bravado saw him go to war in return in an epic small-hall stanza. The fight, and this round in particular, showed that the Dublin welterweight has the grit to go with his amateur pedigree as he shipped plenty of shots from the Bulgarian, but battled through to return many more hurtful shots in return.

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: