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Statement Start – Kristina O’Hara McCafferty wins pro debut in style

They said she was made for the pro game and it appears they weren’t wrong.

Kristina O’Hara McCafferty served up a welcome reminder of what the hype was about at the Doubletree by Hilton in Sheffield tonight.

The former amateur standout registered as impressive a debut as any seen this year, as she whitewashed the extremely game Mayra Dayana Loyola on Unified Promotions first show.

The Belfast fighter showed no ill effects of a prolonged four-year layoff to lay down a minimum weight marker as early as her first fight.

The EU Youth gold, European Youth silver and Commonwealth Games silver medal winner showed flashes of brilliance over the four rounds, her combination punching particularly eye-catching.

She probably got caught too much but that played its part in an extremely entertaining fight and could be a consequence of her enforced sabbatical.

Ultimately, the fighter, who endured a difficult time at the tail end of her amateur career, now has a recent happy boxing memory to reflect on and announced herself as an Irish pro to watch out for. In fact, considering the weight she hopes to fight at [minimium weight] she may already be deemed a world title hopeful.

O’Hara McCafferty wasn’t long about reminding people what the fuss is all about. Stalking early with good faints and solid shots before she began to punish her opponent’s ambition with brilliantly timed right hands. She moved up the gears as time progressed and put together some quality combinations.

The Belfast fighter was more patient in the second, happy to win the round off a solid jab before she again tested the chin of a game Loyola with some brilliant combos.

A left hook midway through the third looked to open the door to the stoppage. O’Hara McCafferty certainly went for it and unleashed accurate flurries much to the delight of her traveling support. However, her tough opponent continued to fight back and landed a right hand of her own on the bell.

The fourth round had the crowd on their feet. Loyola again showing guts galore, biting down on her gum shield and letting big shots go, while O’Hara McCafferty showed brilliant hand speed, accuracy, and variety in an all-action round.

The win sees O’Hara McCafferty move to 1-0 while her opponent slips to 0-2.

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