Michael Conlan wins at packed SSE Arena
Michael Conlan got his revolution up and running at the SSE Arena in Belfast as he saw off Adeilson Dos Santos on points on Saturday night.
The referee scored the fight 79-73 in Conlan’s favour and the Belfast fighter will benefit for going the eight rounds with a tough opponent.
It was a solid display from Conlan who showed flashes of his undoubted quality and pedigree.
This was his first of many Belfast wins as he makes his way up the ladder.
Conlan got off to a fluid start in the first and at least Dos Santos was here to give it a go.
In the second round Conlan’s movement of foot and hand gave Dos Santos more questions than answers and Conlan was growing into the fight.
Conlan turned his attention to Dos Santos’ body in the third and the Brazilian fighter did not like it as Conlan started to go through the gears.
The fourth was more of the same as Conlan boxed well, while Dos Santos tried to close the range.
The Belfast fighter’s quality could be seen in the fifth as his switch hitting confused his rival but it was not all one way traffic.
Conlan was elusive and quick on his feet and Dos Santos was finding it hard to make an impression but he kept pushing forward but Conlan deserved the win.
Tyrone McKenna’s brave bid against Jack Catterall for the WBO Intercontinental super lightweight title ended in disappointment as the Belfast fighter lost 95-91, 94-93, 94-93 on the judges scorecards.
It was a fantastic effort from McKenna - and despite the result - he can be proud of his performance and will have learnt loads in those tough ten rounds.
McKenna was put down in the second but Catterall hit him a cheap shot when he was down. Troubling times and Catterall was docked a point.
But McKenna was down again right on the bell and the referee gave him a standing eight count - but he survived.
Round three and McKenna regrouped well but Catterall was looking very strong.
The fourth was another good round and Catterall was starting to fade and McKenna was back in the fight.
But at the start of the fifth McKenna was hurt by a shot to the body and was down again but he battled through to the end of the round.
The sixth was a war of attrition as both fighters went into the trenches for the full three minutes.
McKenna after his earlier set-backs could have folded but to his credit he stayed in the fight and was far from out of it after round seven.
Round eight and both fighters had their successes and McKenna was more than holding his own against a tiring Catterall.
McKenna came on strong in the ninth and Catterall was warned for a low blow and both fighters gave it a go,
The final round was a tight affair as both men were exhausted but Catterall had done enough for the win.
Derry’s Tyrone McCullagh took on Joe Ham for the vacant Celtic Super-bantamweight title and both fighters had an unbeaten record so a good fight was on the cards but it was McCullagh who came out on top 97-92, 98-92 and 98-92 on the judges scorecards.
Both fighters made a steady start to the fight with both cagey in the first round.
In round two both fighters gave more with McCullagh landing some good shots to the body of Ham - but there was little in it.
Ham was pushing the pace in round three and had some success and had McCullagh down at the end of the round.
Round four started well for McCullagh as used his boxing skills as Ham bombed forward - but there was little of note in the three minutes.
McCullagh started round five well and he seemed to have steadied the ship.
Round six was lively as both fighters gave it a go and McCullagh was starting to move and box a wee bit more.
McCullagh was throwing some good shots in the seventh but Ham was also having a go as the fight warmed up.
Ham was proving to be determined and McCullagh couldn’t seem to put a dent in him but there was little in this as
The last two rounds would be crucial the ninth was again close as McCullagh moved and Ham marched forward. But McCullagh was doing the better work
A big finish was needed from both in the final round but it was more of the same and it went to the judges scorecards but McCullagh was the new Celtic champion.
Lewis Crocker built on his explosive record as he stopped Adam Grabiec with a vicious body shot in the first round of their contest.
Crocker has punching power and he needs now to be tested because there is much more to come from the Belfast fighter.
Crocker said: “It was a good win and I suppose it would have been great to get a few more rounds, but an early win is great and if I can stop them early - why not?”
In the fight for the IBF Intercontinental Super-featherweight title clash between Jono Carroll and Declan Geraghty - it was Carroll won this war in the ninth round as the referee stopped the fight with Geraghty exhausted and hurt.
Both fighters gave their all but it was Carroll who won the contest after pushing the pace the whole way through.
Belfast’s Padraig McCrory got another win on his record as he beat Harry Matthews 39-37.
McCrory did well against the durable Matthews and he will have learnt from the experience.
Gary Cully from Naas had a good 40-36 win against Zoltan Szabo.
Taylor McGoldrick got the night off to a winning start as he saw off Casey Blair 39-38.
McGoldrick did well but he needs to show more if he wants to move up the ladder.