By Liam McInerney
DROPKICK Murphy’s song, the boys are back and their looking for trouble, kicked off the show for BoxNation. Well Junior Granados gave headliner Jamie Conlan a world of trouble, but amazingly the Belfast man came from the brink of defeat to claim victory.
Those present will never forget this night. It was a startling reminder of why we love boxing. The atmosphere was sensational and reinforced the fact that the National Stadium is a special venue.
Jamie Conlan displayed astonishing bravery that can only be compared to legends like Jake LaMotta. After being battered in round seven and left on the canvas twice, he somehow responded to claim the final three rounds to clinch a unanimous decision. Both fighters deserve credit for such an exhilarating battle. Jamie Conlan vs Junior Granados will be one of, if not the, fight of the year.
The first thing we learned on the night was that heavyweight Sean ‘Big Sexy’ Turner isn’t so sexy after all. Although he can’t compete with Brad Pitt in terms of looks, he certainly has a powerful punch. It was an explosive opening in Dublin after Turner’s opponent failed to emerge off his stool for the second round after enduring a three minute beating.
Lightweight Declan ‘Pretty Boy’ Geraghty proved his nickname is a bit more deserved than Turner’s. But more importantly he demonstrated he was a class operator by exhibiting his speed and skill against Dinars Skripkins. The bout ended in round three after Skripkins kept going down after accurate left hand shots from southpaw Geraghty.
When Bantamweight Ryan Burnett contemplated how his return to the National Stadium as a pro would go, he would have envisaged a more satisfactory evening. We didn’t learn anything new but Burnett got the victory in round two after his opponent damaged his shoulder. With a quality trainer in Adam Booth, the 23 year-old Belfast fighter has the potential to become another world champion to emerge from Belfast.
There were also good wins for Birmingham’s Tommy Langford and Dublin’s Stephen Ormond who both had KO triumphs.
All Irish fighters on the bill were winners. But what fans will remember is Jamie Conlan’s war with Junior Granados in a Super-Flyweight classic. If there was ever a case for a rematch, this would be it.