It was a busy weekend for Irish fighters, and one which saw the return of professional boxing to the National Stadium.
First up on Friday was Ballymena’s Joe Rea, who took on former World title challenger Tommy Browne Down Under. As always, Rea was game and caused Browne some problems in their NSW middleweight title fight, before losing on points (79-73, 78-74, 77-75).
At the Holte Suite in Villa Park their was a six-round points win for Wexford-Brummie light middleweight Ryan Kelly over Sonny Whiting (60-54).
In a battle of the middleweight prospects at the Middleton Arena in Greater Manchester, Matty Mainwaring overcame Tommy Carter (40:37).
On Saturday morning Dean Gardiner sadly missed out on Olympic qualification, narrowly losing to Guido Vianello in the final of the final AOB Olympic qualifier in Baku.
There was a second round knockout loss for journeyman Ben Mulligan against debutant Jamie Humble at the Gateshead Leisure Centre.
Saturday evening also saw the long-awaited and much-needed return of boxing to Dublin with Fs Promotions/Hatton Promotions giving us ‘The Future’ and wins for all 12 Irish fighters on the card.
Galway super middle Alan Donnellan overcame Gabor Zsalek (60:54).
Creagh’s Dublin light welterweight rival Shortty Carroll outpointed Tamas Laska (40-36).
Derry featherweight Tyrone McCullagh defeated the awkward Aleksandrs Birkenbergs (40-36).
Belfast brawler Paul Hyland Jr crushed Laszlo Fekete in the first round.
Hyland’s potential Irish lightweight title rival Michael Devine won an entertaining fight with Vitalijs Usovs (39:37).
There was a debut for World class amateur Eric Donovan, who outpointed durable Pole Damian Lawniczak.
Dubliner Jake Hanney looked like a top quality prospect in his dangerous comeback fight with Innocent Anyanwu, outpointing the former BeNeLux champ 39:37.
Light middleweight Bernard Roe showed off the skills and power that have led to Packie Collins taking him under his wing with a 40-35 win over Marcin Cybulski.
Rossie Middleweight Darren Cruise looked a million dollars with a third round stoppage of Ferenc Katona.
There was a heart-warming debut for newcomer Jay Byrne who scored a second round knockout of Gabor Ambrus.
And Navan headliner Chris Blaney showed some real potential with a second round debut knockout of David Bauza.