Marty Kayes wins battle of the Journeymen with victory over Phil Townley

Downpatrick’s Marty Kayes had a first licensed professional victory at the weekend at the Devenish Venue.

It was a battle of little versus large at the Belfast venue.

Kayes’s opponent, Belfast man Phil Townley, had formerly fought at light heavyweight, and looked like a monster on the scales. Kayes on the other hand is usually a welterweight and, always the joker, was able to eat a McDonald’s during the weigh-in.

The pair met at middleweight on the Malta Boxing Commission-organised show, and 39 year old Kayes unanimously outpointed his 35 year old opponent over eight rounds to score a big upset.

Kayes has had over 200 unlicensed bouts on the semi-pro Independent Boxing Association circuit, and used this to his advantage to cleverly outscore and negate the aggressive Townley in a battle of the journeymen.

Crafty Kayes was able to show how good he can be when he is able to prepare fully, and the popular, crowd-pleasing fighter was overjoyed when the scorecard was read out.

The only of the three scorecards to be read out gave Kayes every round and an 80-72 win, although the two unannounced cards were somewhat closer and a fairer reflection of the bout.

Townley was incensed after the bout, feeling that he clearly won the fight, but most would agree that Kayes was a deserved winner.

Kayes has now finally lost his 0, and his professional record now reads 1(0)-17(3), while Townley falls to 1(0)-11(2).

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: