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Premature Stoppage? Heartbreak for Craig O’Brien in Itlay

Craig O’Brien’s latest attempt to gatecrash the big time came to what appeared a premature end in Italy tonight.

‘The Iron’ was hoping to emulate the likes of former European cruiserweight Tommy McCarthy by securing a career-changing victory in Italy on a DAZN broadcast Matchroom Italia card.

Early evidence suggested the Dubliner looked well capable of doing an Italian job and upsetting Samuel Nmomah, O’Brien was more than just in the fight going into the fourth round.

However, it all unrivaled quickly when the Italian-based Nigerian landed a right hand early in that stanza. A hurt O’Brien retreated back to the ropes and his opponent began to let fly.

It looked ominous initially but the Celtic Warrior Gym fighter had enough about him to cover up and began slipping shots. However, just when he shaped to start firing back the towel came in and the referee waved off the fight.

O’Brien was shocked, upset and did appear to have his wits about him when questioning his corner’s decision. However, Pascal Collins and co know the fighter the best and the ‘better to stop it too early than too late’ argument may be made.

O’Brien started sure and composed, used his feet well, and looked to box of a varied jab. There was an element of Nmomah bidding his time and he looked solid anytime he got close, but the Irish champion was comfortable if not completely in control.

Again O’Brien’s jab and movement saw him start the second well and when drawn into close quarters he continued to perform. He did take some inside uppercuts when he went head to head with the home fighter and had a clearer advantage when he put distance between him and Nmomah, but he did some good bodywork in close quarters and wasn’t outmuscled.

The third followed a similar pattern, hard to separate them when they decided to stand toe to toe with O’Brien looking the better from range.

You couldn’t have argued with ‘The Iron’ being in front going into the fourth but a big right hand from his opponent ultimately decided the fight in his favour be it a premature stoppage or not.

The reverse sees O’Brien slip to 12-3 while his opponent moves to 16-0.

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com