Two shows, an international tour, and fighters featuring on massive cards, there were plenty of Irish boxers who stood out.
We have picked out 16 of these for March’s edition of the Liffey Crane Hire Irish Boxer of the Month.
The Cinderella Man. The former amateur king entered the pros at the start of this year and, with just one fight under his belt, entered the Ireland’s Last Man Standing middleweight tournament at the National Stadium and stormed to the €25,000 prize, dropping and defeating Vladimir Belujsky, outpointing number one seed JJ McDonagh, and knocking out Jack Cullen in the first round of the final.
Topping the aforementioned Ireland’s Last Man Standing bill, the inner-city stylist outpointed the relentless Jay Byrne to claim the Irish light middleweight title. Answering plenty of questions, O’Brien outboxed Byrne early on and then showed plenty of grit to stay in there with his super fit opponent and claim the title.
On the Last Man Standing undercard Rabei took a big step up to face Belfast banger Mark Morris. The Dublin Moldovan looked right at home, however, and dropped Morris early in the first and ‘The Reaper’ was eventually pulled out at the end of the third.
The Blanchardstown light welter outboxed the boxer in a WBA world title eliminator. Topping a St Patrick’s Day show in Sydney, WBA Oceania champ Foley was dominant against Canadian Steven Wilcox to add the WBA NABA title to his collection and move into contention for a shot at a world title.
The Oughterard light welter became a two-weight New South Wales champion with an utterly dominant win over Sam Williams on the Foley-headlined bill in Sydney.
For the second St Patrick’s Day in row the Belfast featherweight brought thousands to The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York for another headline fight. Conlan destroyed David Berna, dropping the Hungarian with a sumptuous bodyshot in the first and finishing the contest in the second.
The Galway welterweight was the stand-out star for the Irish team which toured New England. Molloy scored two notable wins, defeating both Panamerican Championships silver medalist Quinton Randall and World Championships bronze medalist Freudis Rojas Jr.
Making his Irish Senior debut on the U.S. tour, the 18-year-old Limerick light welter (fighting one weight up) had a hugely impressive unanimous decision win over Quinton Randall to underline his elite-level potential.
The Beast From The East showed just why he is Ireland’s new top heavyweight with two good wins on the U.S. tour, beating Army champion Adrian Tillman on successive shows.
The World and EU silver medalist twice defeated Stacia Suttles on the U.S. tour as well as losing a debated decision against Amelia Moore – after which she publically called for fair play.
Big Joe scored his second win of this season’s World Series of Boxing, dominating Youth Olympic champion Blagoy Naydenov over five rounds in Milan to secure a win for the British Lionhearts.
The Sallynoggin super featherweight, in just his fourth fight, headlined Celtic Clash 5 at Good Counsel GAA club in Drimnagh. Rematching Colin O’Donovan – also in just his fourth fight – McAfee emerged a split-decision winner in a guaranteed Fight of the Year to take the BUI Celtic title.
The Belfast bantamweight overcame an early hand injury to thoroughly dominate mandatory challenger Yonfrez Parejo to retain his WBA title on the massive Anthony Joshua v Joseph Parker heavyweight unification at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.
The Dubliner went away again and scored a very impressive victory over Scouse stylist Johnny Quigley in Preston. The super featherweight southpaw emerged victorious in an entertaining ten rounder to set up some big fights going forward.
The Donegal middleweight – after 53 weeks out – made his return with a stunning sixth-round bodyshot knockout of Daniel Rosario at the Marina Bay SportPlex in the Boston suburb of Quincy. In his first fight under Dominic Ingle, Quigley showed a nice mix of slick outside fighting and killer-instinct to get the win.
On the same card as Quigley, the Mayo lightweight took a step up to face Irish-American rival Matt Doherty in a six-round grudge match. Moylette weathered an early storm to take control after two rounds and put on an impressive display, winning on points.