Kurt Walker made it a perfect 10 in his first-ever Ulster Hall fight tonight.
It wasn’t quite a stroll in the park for Walker, as in keeping with his career to date, he found himself up against a game and aggressive opponent in Darwing Martinez on the undercard of Lewis Crocker’s clash with Mexican danger man Jose Felix.
The 28-year-old had to work from first to last bell to move into double figures after a disguised step up.
Martinez, who hails from the fight-mad city of Managua was a solid amateur winning Pan American Youth silver and gold at the Central American Elite Championships. As a pro, he has proved himself an aggressive and entertaining operator who packs a punch.
The fighter, who has a draw with Conor Quinn, came as advertised and threw punches from first to last bell in what was amazingly, Walker’s first at the famous venue.
However, Walker dealt with the pressure, and showed all his boxing ability to outpoint a fighter, who more than earned his pay, to become the first Irish fighter to win in Ireland this year
Prior to the fight, the Conlan boxing prospect was clear about his desire to secure big fights in 2024. He name-dropped Frank Warren’s British and Commonwealth featherweight champion Nathaniel Collins and undefeated Matchroom prospect Hopey Price.
Having got 2024 off to a successful start he will be hopeful he secures those level of fight.
The man christened Darwing came winging in shots in the first round. The away fighter certainly wasn’t here to lie down and landed two big right hands across the opening stanza. The Belfast fighter was impressively accurate and evasive in between but it was clear he was in for a workout.
The output from Walker increased in the second and he looked to be first, disrupting the Nicuagrian’s rhythm. The Olympian also used the Spain-based battler’s aggression against him, walking him onto well time and beautifully picked combinations.
Still, Martinez continued to march forward keeping the Conlan boxing star honest for the entire duration of the session, as he did for third.
The red-corner fighter continued to throw bombs up to the halfway point. The skillful former Irish amateur standout was picking punches well, landing the cleaner shots, and winning the rounds but it was hard work under the Ulster Hall lights.
By the fourth Walker found his range and used his clever footwork to frustrate the work hungry Nicuagrian, showing his skillset in the process.
Martinez wasn’t to be deterred though and back fighting showing his nasty side hitting after the bell in a fifth where he ate some beautifully timed Walker right hands.
He came to empty the tank in the sixth but again Walker did enough to win the round and ensure a whitewash, he even had time for a bit show boating in the final 30 seconds.
The win improves Walker to 10-0 while Martinez slate now reads 8-18-2.