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The Succo Punch-Discussing Phil Sutcliffe Jr’s punching power

Phil Sutcliffe Jr [13(8)-1(0)] has developed himself a reputation as one of the most fearsome punchers in Irish boxing.

Regularly chosen as ‘Heaviest Puncher’ in Low Blows, even by heavyweights, Sutcliffe is certainly known as a banger.

While the 2009 Senior champion and EU bronze medalist certainly has bags of skill which could win a fight by itself, the ‘Succo Punch’ is a huge weapon in the Dubliner’s arsenal.

However, while those who have sparred or fought him will near unanimously attest to it, some commentators argue that Sutcliffe’s power is overplayed – citing how he has ‘just’ a 57% KO ratio and that he has never stopped anyone past the fourth round.

Ahead of the Crumlin light welter’s IBF East/West Europe title fight with Josh Leather tonight, Irish-Boxing.com has decided to look through Sutcliffe’ 14-fight career to give some context to his reputation.

Fight 1
March 9th 2012 – Fairways Hotel, Dundalk
Zoltan Kovacs 2(0)-0
A backhand right inside the opening two minutes saw the legs of Kovacs turn to wood. The dazed Hungarian would beat the count but the fight was waved off. Kovacs would later move down in weight where he would score a shocking first round stoppage of Belfast’s Marco McCullough and is now the current holder of the WBO European super featherweight title.

Fight 2
May 14th 2013 – City Hall, Belfast
Liam Finn [debut]
Sutcliffe was brought into the second by the brave Mayo fighter, but was utterly dominant, bludgeoning him into submission.

Fight 3
July 12th 2013 – Fairways Hotel, Dundalk
Radoslav Mitev [3(1)-11(4)-1]
Mitev was known as a tough journeyman, having beaten Michael Harvey previously, and he would go on to really test Crank Whitehouse. Sutcliffe however would destroy the Bulgarian with a right hook to the body sending him down for the count at the end of the first round.

sutcliffe 22

Fight 4
October 19th 2013 – Odyssey Arena, Belfast
Lubos Priehradnik [6(3)-44(13)]
Fighting early on on the Frampton-Parodi undercard, and perhaps aware that big boxing people were in attendance, Sutcliffe turned in his most complete performance yet. The Slovak would be systematically broken down by a more considered Sutcliffe before the bout was eventually waved off in the fourth.

Fight 5
November 2nd 2013 – Our Lady’s Hall, Drimnagh
Karoly Lakatos [12(5)-41(15)]
Two weeks later Sutcliffe would be out again and would again impress with a more patent approach, dropping his opponent in the third and then again in the fourth to move to 5(5)-0

Fight 6
September 12 2014 – Red Cow Moran Hotel, Dublin
Martin McCord [1(1)-3(1)-1]
Sutcliffe would spend much of 2014 out recovering from corrective hand surgery and made his long-awaited return here. Looking to bank the rounds, Sutcliffe would down McCord in the first, second, and third, but never went in for the finish as he eased his way to a first career points win.

Fight 7
February 2nd 2015 – Red Cow Moran Hotel, Dublin
Terry Needham [7(3)-1(1)]
In his first real step up, Sutcliffe would make a real statement. Headlining the card, Sutcliffe floored the Liverpudlian with his first punch, a raking body shot, before dominating and dropping Needham again to score the KO1 win.

phil sutcliffe

Fight 8
May 1st 2015 – Red Cow Moran Hotel, Dublin
Yoann Portailler [17(7)-5(0)].
In a second successive step up, Sutcliffe took on the former French super featherweight champion and EU lightweight title challenger (who stepped in for Alex Lepallay). ‘Succo’ would down his opponent in the first, and the wily Frenchman would shell up and look to survive for the remaining seven and a half rounds. In a memorable moment, Portailler would afterwards demand an inspection of Sutcliffe’s handwraps, believing them to be loaded such was the power of Sutcliffe’s shots.

Fight 9
December 12th 2015 – Hilton Hotel, Blackpool
Lukasz Janik [14(8)-15(4)-1]
Sutcliffe would miss a summer date in Belfast due to a minor knuckle injury and so returned to the ring here. A keep busy fight, and one which he stated beforehand that he was looking for rounds in, Sutcliffe would down the Polish welterweight in the fourth, but go the full six.

Fight 10
May 7th 2016 – Barclaycard Arena, Hamburg
Anthony Yigit [16(7)-0-1]
After missing out on a fight with Alex Lepallay on the cancelled Clash of the Clans bill in February, Sutcliffe was handed a short-notice opportunity against European #2 Anthony Yigit. However, the need to lose 7kg in 5 days left the Irishman drained and lacking sharpness. In what was a game showing, Sutcliffe lost a majority decision to the Swede who became European champion earlier this year.

sutcliffe yigit

Fight 11
July 2nd 2016 – Oldham Leisure Centre, Oldham
Geiboord Omier [3(2)-6(2)]
Sutcliffe would quickly return from the loss, and scored a knockdown with his first punch back. Patiently stalking Omier, a flurry toward the end of the opening round would bring a halt to the comeback. The Nicaraguan has since become a regular on the British scene and is yet to be stopped.

Fight 12
October 7th 2016 – Greenbank Sports Academy, Liverpool
Edvinas Puplauskas [3(2)-3(0)]
His first fight under the management of MTK, Sutcliffe would go up against a Lithuanian that usually fights at light middleweight. Despite being the far smaller man, Sutcliffe hurt the Baltic boxer numerous times before Puplauskas was disqualified in the fourth round for excessive holding and fouling.

Fight 13
November 5th 2016, Titanic Exhibition Centre
Chris Jenkins [16(8)-1(0)-1]
Fighting against his first big-name British opponent, the Dubliner would knock down Jenkins with a jab inside the opening 30 seconds. The Welshman would make an admirable recovery, dominating many of the middle rounds before a strong finish from Sutcliffe who prevailed on the scorecard.

Fight 14
March 10th 2017 – Waterfront Hall, Belfast
Miguel Aguilar [11(5)-31(7)-1]
Sutcliffe had been due to fight Lee Gillespie, but the postponement of the card and the impending Leather bout saw the opposition changed to Central American journeyman Aguilar. The Nicaraguan is more accustomed to campaigning at light middle, but would be stopped in four by Sutcliffe who started patiently before piling on the pressure in the fourth.

Fight 15
May 13th 2017 – First Direct Arena, Leeds
Josh Leather [11(5)-0]

Joe O’Neill and Gavan Casey speak to Jason Quigley on Episode 5 of The Irish Boxing Show:

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie