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Weekend Round-up: Finding the positives

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It’s been a tough weekend for Irish boxing with three major losses.

Ulster fighters Tommy McCarthy, Paddy Gallagher, and Conrad Cummings all lost over in England.

While Cummings can feel hard done by following his split decision defeat to German Ronny Mittag, McCarthy and Gallagher were deservedly beaten in close British title eliminators to Matty Askin and Tamuka Mucha respectively.

Disappointing no doubt, these three however were not the only Irish boxers in action over the weekend – and there was plenty of success in the smaller bouts on Friday and Saturday.

Starting us off in exotic Dubai on Friday is Waterford welter Rohan Daté. In what was just his second fight, the 23 year old made a big step up to face experienced Ghanaian Stephen Okine. Daté downed his African opponent in the second and fourth rounds, while Okine had a point docked for holding in the third. The former National Stadium regular took a wide decision on the scorecards (40:33 x2, 40:35) to move to 2(1)-0.

At the Victoria Warehouse there were wins on Friday for light welter Kofi Yates [14(1)-2(0)] and featherweight Ryan Doyle [14(8)-1(1)-1]. Yates returned from his loss to Tom Farrell with a hard-fought six rounder with journeyman Ibrar Riyaz, taking a 59:56 decision. Headlining the bill, Doyle saw his scheduled eight rounder with Tamas Laska stopped after two with the Hungarian claiming a hand injury.

On the same Cyclone bill as Gallagher and Cummings, there was a win for popular London-Cork welter Dan-Dan Keenan [3(0)-0]. The ticket-selling teenager overcame a pre-existing fractured hand as well as a near six hour wait to get in to the ring, winning his swing bout with Edward French on points (39:37).

In Spain, the Irish team lost out 3:2 to their hosts in their international match. There were wins for middleweight John Joyce and youth boxer Sean Dempsey in Albacte, but stoppage losses for Patrick Linehan and TJ Waite (to Paddy Barnes defeater Samuel Carmona) and a split decision defeat for Stevie McKenna.

On Saturday night, on the McCarthy-Askin undercard at the Victoria Warehouse, there was a six round win for BBBoC Celtic champion Anto Cacace [15(7)-0]. The Andersonstown man easily outpointed Nicaraguan Leonel Hernandez (60:54) in a keep-busy bout.

In America, on a DiBella Entertainment card at the Foxwoods Resort & Casino, there was a career-best win for Cork welter Noely Murpy [7(2)-0]. The New York-based Macroom made a step-up to take on Mohamed Allam, and downed his opponent in the third en-route to a wide points win (60:53 x3).

At the Wheeling Island Racetrack & Casino, brothers Mike and Matt Conway were in action on the same bill. The Cork-West Virginians faced another set of brothers in the two bouts. Making his professional debut, Mike stopped Chris Kuhn inshide the opening round. Then, in the main event, Matt [7(4)-0] fought for the West Virginia welterweight title against Zack Kuhn, scoring a fourth round stoppage.

Finally, at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga, Ontario, there was a career-toughest test for Canadian-Irishman Josh O’Reilly [7(1)-0]. The super featherweight had it put up to him by Angel Sarinana, hitting the canvas twicem before prevailing on the scorecards (76:73, 75:74 75:74).

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: