Niall Kennedy wins first headline bout

By Diarmuid Sherry

The final fight of the evening at the Red Cow Moran Hotel featured a six round heavyweight clash between Wexford’s Niall Kennedy and Yavor Marinchev of Croatia. Referee Emile Tiedt scored the contest 59-55 in favour of the Irishman.

The 32 year-old Garda, accompanied by Spike O’Sullivan on the ringwalk, remained fully concentrated throughout the bout and showed impressive speed and agility for a heavyweight. However, at just over 16 stone, Kennedy is small for a Heavyweight. Not as small as Marinchev, whom at 14st 9oz, technically qualifies as a cruiserweight.

Even despite Marinchev’s lighter weight, he was still incredibly flabby at the mid-section. Kennedy targeted the body all night long, focusing his efforts on jabs and straight rights to the beltline of Marinchev, and hooks with both hands to both sides of Marinchev’s body.

Marinchev is no fool however, and seemingly smiled his way throughout the first 4 rounds, even if Kennedy connected sweetly with a right hook that landed flush on the Bulgarians chin. Afterall, Marinchev has shared the ring with many heavyweight prospects in the UK, and lasted the distance with David Price.

By the fifth round however, the Bulgarian’s facial expression was noticeably different. Clearly fatigued, and body reddened, it seemed that Kennedy’s body attack was starting to take his toll. Kennedy changed his focus of attack from downstairs to upstairs and gained some success with over hand right.

Kennedy began the sixth with a superb right cross, knocking the sweat of Marinchev into the front row. From then on, the fighting policeman showed fine head movement and counter attacking skills, easily avoiding his opponents marauding attacks and landing his own clean shots, before gliding away from Marinchev.

This was the 3rd victory in Kennedy’s fledgling career. At 32 years of age, he may need to be moved along a little quicker than usual, but he certainly displayed that there is some talent in the ring so far in his career.

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: