Niall Kennedy wasn’t able to tame ‘The Savage’ live on Sky Sports to take a serious stride forward in the land of the giants.
The Gorey Garda was brought in as a step up foe for a raw, but brutal Croat who punched and talked his way into the spotlight after just four fights.
The Pascal Collins trained fighter was meant to ask questions, bring the 29-year-old rounds, but ultimately lose – and that is how it transpired.
The heavyweight didn’t manage to tear up the script of ‘one of the most exciting new stories in heavyweight boxing’.
A left hook from the fighter whose alter ego has won him serious fame dropped Kennedy early in the third, the Murphy’s boxing big man did manage to get to his feet, but the Croatian swarmed and the ref stepped.
It’s a second success defeat for Kennedy and a fifth successive knockout win for Babic.
As expected the brute force specialist came out firing in the first round, but Kennedy wasn’t going to be bullied and stood up to be counted.
Kennedy looked to go the body in the second, but couldn’t dissuade his wild and relentless opponent from marching forward.
The Irish heavy consulted the canvas in that second stanza after being caught with a short left hook, but no count was administered.
Sporting a mark under the left eye the Celtic Warrior Gym fighter came out for the third looking a bit ragged – and he wasn’t long before he was down heavy.
Kennedy rose to his feet, but ‘The Savage,’ who was fighting in the third round for the first time in his career, sensed blood, went for the kill and forced referee Ian John Lewis to step in and call off proceedings.
The stoppage did look somewhat premature, but the referee was best placed to judge Kennedy’s position and the writing did appear on the wall for the extremely likable Gorey native.
The win see’s Babic improve to 5-0 while Kennedy drops to 13-2-1.
It remains to be seen what is next for the 35-year-old Irish fighter. There was faint rumour of a Wexford show and the arrival on the scene of Dean Walsh may enhance that, but with action limited in Ireland for various reasons it seems unlikely he could secure a comeback win at home.
America is still an option, but again the current pandemic means it’s not an immediate one.
Picture Credit Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing