Colm Murphy deservedly retained his BUI Celtic title at Girdwood Community Hub tonight.
The Belfast fighter defeated Dublin’s Liam Gaynor on a narrow points decision to keep the featherweight belt in the TG4 bill-topper.
While the light middleweight title fight between Owen O’Neill and Owen Duffy was a fight for the ages, the headliner was a much scrappier affair. In the end, the constant pressure Murphy applied paid off, as he came out on the right side of a 77-75 decision on referee Padraig O Reachtagain’s card.
In fairness to ‘Posh Boy’ Murphy, the scorecard could have been wider as, at times, Gaynor took quite a bit of punishment. The Kilnamanagh man did very well to nor go down over the 24 minutes of fighting. However, Murphy set the terms of engagement throughout the contest, coming forward continuously, and throwing large volumes of punches, even if much of his work was rather untidy.
A pro just over a year, Murphy came to the ring off the back of his title win over local rival Ruadhan Farrell while Gaynor has been on a steady climb since relocating to Bolton.
The first round was relatively even, but Murphy was the busier man and he landed some of the more impressive shots across the three minutes. Again in the second he came forward – again and again – and landed a couple of very impressive right hands.
Murphy would land a few more hard rights in the third, but Gaynor did take the punishment well, and towards the round’s end he dished out a few decent shots of his own, although the Belfast fighter would still have been happier at its conclusion.
Gaynor had some more pockets of success in the fourth, but towards its end, he was tiring, which was hardly surprising given the pressure the home fighter was applying, and Gaynor finished the round under a good deal of pressure.
The momentum was clearly with Murphy and, early in the fifth, he sought to turn the screw. He turned up the pressure on Gaynor, and caught him with a fine left hand with 30 seconds to go, but the doughty Dubliner would not go down, and while it was very clearly a Murphy round, Gaynor was still there.
Murphy was the very picture of determination as the sixth began, and he continued to apply plenty of pressure, coming forward at all times, but there was no budging Gaynor – even if the rounds appeared to be going against him.
‘Posh Boy’ was continuing to apply lots of pressure, even if a lot of his shots weren’t landing cleanly, and Gaynor wasn’t able to take the initiative away from the champion.
When the final bell sounded it sparked celebrations in the Murphy corner, and while the scoring might have been a little wider, that’ll hardly bother them tonight as their man improved to 6(1)-0.
Gaynor, who drops to 9(0)-2(0), will lick his wounds but proved he is able for Irish domestic fights and will hopefully return to them soon – potentially versus Farrell.