By Mark Stokes
Michael McLaughlin took his professional record to 10-1-1 thanks to a very impressive victory over Roberto Valenzuala at the Marina Bay Sportsplex in Boston on Saturday night.
The Carndonagh welterweight took the fight to the Mexican from the off and never looked back after punishing his opponent with a series of head and body shots in the opening round.
Valenzuala, a veteran of some 56 knockouts throughout his career, had no answer for the Irish southpaw’s speed and movement and although he tagged his opponent with an overhand right in the second, he would never come that close again.
The Donegal man scored big at the end of the round and again midway through the third when it appeared that Valenzuala had had enough. In the fourth “Mickey” piled on the punches, and was equally impressive in avoiding the dangerous counter punches of his opponent.
McLaughlin had his opponent out on his feet and appeared ready to record his tenth inside-the-distance victory of his professional career. But the Mexican survived somehow and took the bout to the fifth round. The ringside physician intervened midway through the fifth following a clash of heads between the fighters.
Valenzuala wanted no further part in the bout and appeared to be blaming his opponent. But the judges did not see it that way and rewarded the Irishman for his dominance by declaring him the victor.
McLaughlin was pleased with his night’s work, commenting afterwards: “He was a very tough opponent, but I think he didn’t want to know near the end. There was a clash of heads alright but he was trying to blame that for the loss. I thought I did well and deserved the victory.”
McLaughlin is looking to keep busy over the summer months and contemplating a possible title fight in Ireland by the end of the year: “I’ll talk to Ken (promoter). We’ll have to wait and see.”