O’Kane dazzles with sensational first round knock-out at Odyssey

Eamonn O'Kane defeated Alvaro Gaona for the vacant WBC International Silver Middleweight at the Odyssey in Belfast
Eamonn O'Kane defeated Alvaro Gaona for the vacant WBC International Silver Middleweight at the Odyssey in Belfast

Eamonn O’Kane lit-up the Odyssey last night after he performed a one-round demolition job on Alvaro Gaona for the WBC International Silver title.

Dungiven fighter O’Kane landed a perfect overhand right after 2.42 minutes of the first round and Gaona - who had been hit by the same shot earlier in the round - was down and out.

O’Kane now has a high ranking with the WBC and the IBF says he wants to keep on moving forward.

“That is how we like it, short and sweet. But it is the hard work in the gym leading up to the fight that makes it so easy. The camp and the support here have been fantastic and I am just delighted.

“The shot that stopped him is my favourite and we have been working on it in the ring to get the technique right. I am ready to rock and I want a another title shot shortly.”

Jamie Conlan got his hands on his first title as a professional as he stopped Benjamin Smoes in the seventh round of their WBO European Super-flyweight clash.

Conlan started well and came on strong in the sixth and seventh rounds but the durable Smoes decided enough was enough in the seventh.

The former St John Bosco amateur had Smoes down in the sixth before Conlan had him down and out after 23 seconds of the seventh after breaking Smoes down with brutal bodyshots.

The John Breen-trained fighter says there is more to come from him in the future.

“I was glad I got a few rounds and the cut I got in the second round did not bother me. That is the first of many and I was glad to get a few rounds under my belt. He was tougher than I thought he would be,” he said.

Marc McCullough admitted he was ‘gutted’ after beating Elemir Rafael in the third round of their six rounder.

McCullough was due to fight for the WBO European Featherweight title but two opponents fell through. He stopped Rafael after 53 seconds of the third and the Shankill road lad says his mind was elsewhere.

“I only found out at 4pm that the title fight was off so my head was away. It was good to get a few rounds but I was gutted the title fight fell through.”

Conrad Cummings opened up the show with a good stoppage win against Zahari Mutafchiev, while Stephen Ormond successfully defended his WBO European Lightweight title against Karim El Quazghari.

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Ormond started well and was busy in the opening round before he landed the perfect shot in the fifth round that dropped his opponent and El Quazghari did not recover.

Ormond was pleased with the win, saying: “He was tricky but I got the job done and it was a great shot to finish the fight. I aim to be busy and keep on winning.”

Local lad Cummings in only second fight as a professional was on top from the first bell and peppered his opponent with head and body shots in the opening three minutes.

It was more of the same in the second and a left hook from Cummings opened a nasty cut above the right eye of Mutafchiev.

He made it through the second but on the advice of the ringside doctor the fight was stopped at the very start of round three.

Cummings was delighted to have won on his home debut.

“It was good to win, but I would have liked a few more rounds. I kept my range well and worked him to the body and head. We have been working on that in the gym,” he said.

“The Odyssey is a great venue to fight at and I want more of this. I hope to be out again at the end of May - but I am now going to take a week off.”