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Jamie Morrissey stuns Robbie Burke in Celtic Clash WAR

Because terms were only agreed 24 hours before the weigh-in there wasn’t enough time for any bad blood to develop over a prolonged build-up – but that didn’t prevent WAR from breaking out.

There was as much in-ring animosity, action, and violence during the six rounds Jamie Morrissey and Robert Burke shared the ring as seen in the entire gory Saw film series.

The super middleweights traded serious leather at the Devenish Complex, serving up another Celtic Clash domestic classic.

Indeed, such was the nature of the fight it flirted with joining the likes of Anthony Fitzgerald vs Robbie Long, Stephen Reynolds vs Declan Trainor, and Stephen McAfee vs Colin O’Donovan on the list of 21st Century all-Irish small-time classics.

If this sort of fight is the product of away fighter troubles, we hope the journeyman pandemic continues!

The out of the blue Celtic Clash 12 derby was eventually won by Morrissey who can now only be labelled a warrior boxer and not ‘just’ a Muay Thai graduate.

In a tight and hard-to-score back-and-forth bout, the Treaty boxer was the clear winner of two rounds, the second where he hurt the Dub and the last when he got a second wind and showed good skills – but got the nod in the other close sessions to take a 60-55 win on Hugh Russell Jr’s card.

The Boxing Ireland fighter now takes a massive step toward a BUI Celtic title shot and another potentially massive domestic fight with Kevin Cronin.

Burke played his part and if he doesn’t call for a rematch, every fan fortunate enough to see both put it all on the line will.

There was genuine excitement when the fight was made as late as Thursday just gone and there was a feeling something special might break out and those with that inclination were proved right.

The atmosphere was nigh-on electric even before a punch was thrown – and it ramped up further once the action got underway.

Burke let fly with a right hand from the off and pressed forward throughout the round. Morrissey boxed off a long spearing jab and looked be holding back the right hand.

Morrissey hurt Burke early in the second but only after he ate a big left hook. His long left hook, which landed at the same time as a Burke right hand, stiffened the Dubs legs. The Limerick side of the fight brought the right hand into play straight away and looked stoppage capable. However, Burke managed to survive a quick onslaught and landed some solid rights down the pipe before finishing relatively well.

Burke was back pushing forward in the third and looked ready to war. He bookended the round with two big eye-catching right hands. Morrissey isn’t one for retreating and landed some big shots of his own and seemed to be more capable of hurting the aggressive Dub

The timekeeper was enjoying it so much the round went 30 seconds over.

Morrissey brought in the uppercut in the fourth to good effect and any time Burke wasn’t rushing forward the Shaun Kelly-trained fighter landed some clean right hands. But Burke continued to and registered body work that helped tire an opponent in just his second-ever boxing bout amateur or pro.

Nevermind on their feet, the crowd were up on the tables and chairs by the fifth, another enthralling and hard-to-score stanza. Burke started the better and landed clean with the overhand right on a number of occasions, but just when it looked like he was going to win the round clear, Morrissey managed to get on his toes and walk the Crumlin graduate on to some beautifully timed right hands.

Morrissey brought that tactic into the last and had early success but Burke just kept coming. There wasn’t as much work on the end of the pressure this time around and the Treaty county man managed to land the cleaner shots, an uppercut and left hook particularly catching the eye.

Going to the card, there was a general feeling that Morrissey had gotten the better of things and so it was confirmed.

Now 2(1)-0 – but with a domestic win under his belt – Morrissey has skipped the queue while Burke has been defeated but by no means disgraced. The division, the domestic scene, and Irish boxing, in general, is alive.

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com