Mixed fortunes for Duffy and Daté in London

There were contrasting fortunes for Irish boxers in London tonight.

Four boxers from these shores were due to fight on a British Warriors card at the Woodside Leisure Centre in Watford but only two, however, would box, with Alfredo Meli and Elaine Greenan being forced off the bill at late notice, and those who remained, Owen Duffy and Rohan Daté, would share a win and a loss.

Cavan light middleweight Duffy would be defeated by Assassin stablemate Jake Best while Waterford welterweight Daté would defeat Radoslav Mitev in the main event.

Straight from the off it was obvious that Duffy was in a real fight, with Best bursting out of the blocks and landing big shots. The Shercock southpaw would edge his way back into the round, picking nice shots but a strong finish from Best may have won him the stanza.

It was Best who started the second stronger as well, ambushing Duffy who was having to work ferociously to keep up. The Ulsterman was picking nice countershots in the face of constant aggression from Best who, surely, would be unable to keep up the pace having taken the fight at comparably short notice.

The fight would become scrappy in the third but it was Best who was the busier again. Moving into the second half of the fight, and needing a big finish, Duffy would up the aggression but would be caught by a big overhand counter that looked to have rocked him. ‘The Butcher Boy’ showed good grit to dig in and fire back, trading clean shots with Best as the war continued. The tempo flatlined in the fifth round, with Best’s gas tank emptying but the Englishman continued to swing in shots.

Needing a stoppage, Duffy went to war in the final round, landing thudding shots as the busy Best stood firm. Going to referee Bob Williams’s final card it was Best who was declared a deserved 58-56 winner.

Duffy drops to 3(2)-1(0) following the maiden defeat, a result he will surely learn from while the game Best improves to 6(0)-2(0).

It was a lot more one-sided in the following fight, with Daté winning every second against Mitev.

The Bulgarian veteran has proven himself to be dangerous over the years, most recently against Martin Wall, but tasted Daté’s power earlier and would elect to shell up.

The noted Déise puncher would take a patient approach from there on in and would methodically go about breaking Mitev down, with the Eastern European offering very, very little back.

Daté would hurt the visitor with uppercuts especially but was unable to force the stoppage and was brought into the fifth and sixth rounds for the first time as he rounded off a 60-54 points winner.

The triumph sees the St Paul’s graduate improve to 7(5)-0-1 while Mitev falls to 12(4)-47(18)-2 following his night’s work.

Earlier tonight Stephen Ormond would also win in London on the MTK show at the Brentwood Centre – FIGHT REPORT HERE


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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie