Ulster Hall Undercard – RESULTS & REPORT


Paddy Gallagher was destructive tonight in the main undercard bout tonight at Belfast’s Ulster Hall on the #MTKFightNight undercard.

The Lenadoon welter took on ambitious former kickboxer Liam Wells in the definition of a crossroads clash, with Gallagher hinting beforehand that retirement was a possibility should he fail to get the win.

There’s plenty more Paddy to go around, though, it seems, as he romped to an impressive victory.

Back straight in a competitive fight immediately following his narrow WBO European title loss to Freddy Kiwitt – and after his Libero-German opponent was able to squirm out of a contractually-mandated rematch – Gallagher faced an opponent jumping up in level in just his sixth contest.

It was far too big of a jump, however, and ‘The Pat Man’ would dominate en-route to a third-round stoppage.

Gallagher began well, probing his rangy opponent and getting some good success to the body in the final 30.

Opening up in the second, the jab of Gallagher was working a treat and he landed a smattering of nice right hands but Wells was making things awkward without offering too much offensively.

The writing seemed to be on the wall and the end came in the third, another right hand from Gallagher discombobulating Wells and, after a salvo of heavy shots, the referee intervened.

Improving to 16(10)-5(0), Gallagher reinvigorates his career with another notable win  and will be looking to get straight back into title fights.

 

Leading in to Gallagher, and making a step up, Lewis Crocker made his mark.

Initially scheduled for eight versus recent French champion Karim Aliliche, the bout was demoted to a six but the Belfast welterweight still impressed as he went the distance for a third successive time.

Aliliche has a win over former world champion Souleymane M’baye on his record and certainly seemed up for the fight at the weigh-in yesterday, driving his head into Crocker’s during the face-off.

Not that Crocker, softly spoken outside the ring, needed motivation, but the Sandy Row puncher was beastly from the off, dropping Aliliche with a clipping let hook within seconds. The Frenchman rose and endured some damaging bodyshots but managed to see out the round.

Aliliche looked to have momentarily wobbled Crocker with a counter shot in the second but the Irishman quickly reasserted control following the brief scare. Crocker upped the aggression at the start of round three but was also able to back up and flurry off the ropes.

While the left hook is his favoured shot, Crocker brought the right hand increasingly into play, landing a pair of knee shakers in the fourfth – a quieter round.

With Aliliche proving a stubburn foe, Crocker employed his boxing in the fifth but went for the finish in the final round, landing some big shots on the visitor who refused to budge.

While he didn’t get the finish, ‘The Croc’ roused the crowd in the closing seconds, swinging for the fences and roaring Aliliche in to engage as the bout ended with a bang.

With a 60-53 win confirmed, Crocker now improves to 9(6)-0 with his second win in five weeks and the progression will, hopefully, continue apace.

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Before the ESPN+ portion of the card there were a further three Irish boxers in action with two wins, a loss, and plenty of drama.

Opening the show was North Belfast welter Owen O’Neill who was back in the ring less than a month after his debut – a first outing which saw him pack out The Devenish with the Cliftonville FC Ultras.

His ticket-selling prowess proved, O’Neill had a quick return here and a good solid match with tough Nicaraguan Geiboord Omier.

Indeed ‘The Operator’ was given a major scare when he was hurt badly in the second round but managed to survive and fight back well to claim a 39-37 win and move to 2(0)-0.

O’Neill was the first of three in action on the night for the Gerard McManus and Daniel Anderson stable and their second fighter in action suffered a vastly different fate.

Tyrone super middle Taylor McGoldrick had Gennadi Stserbin hurt but threw far too much caution to the wind when going in for the finish, bullrushing the visitor and getting caught on the temple.

McGoldrick, out on his feet, fell hard. Sitting up, dazed, he then saw the count waved off at five as he fell to a devastating loss.

McGoldrick now drops to 3(1)-1(1) and sees a mooted clash with Padraig McCrory on the big Féile bill in August fall through.

Finally, fighting in Belfast for the first as a pro, Westie light middleweight Caoimhin Agyarko was involved in a great learning fight.

Facing former Scottish title challenger Paul Allison, Agyarko was made to work for all six rounds by the Stranrear slugger, eventually emerging with a 60-55 win in his toughest fight to date.

Agyarko, who hurt his hand in the process, improves to 4(1)-0 and certainly seems ready for the step up to eight rounds.

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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