O’Kane roars to victory in all-Irish Prizefighter
Bookies’ favourite Eamonn O’Kane roared to victory in the all-Irish Betfair Prizefighter Middleweights at the King’s Hall in Belfast on Saturday night.
O’Kane defeated JJ McDonagh in the final and was a deserved winner, not least for his part in the fantastic opening quarter-final of the night, which saw the Commonwealth Games gold medalist and Anthony Fitzgerald going toe-to-toe for the full three rounds.
His reward was a semi final with Ryan Greene, who had seen off the challenge of Ciaran Healy in the second quarter-final. A clash of heads and a nasty gash affected Greene in the opening round, and the Lurgan man was floored after two minutes, giving O’Kane a first round stoppage.
The final was scrappier than his opening two fights, with McDonagh’s height and reach causing problems. But O’Kane’s work rate negated the Irish super middleweight’s key tactic.
And with McDonagh was docked a point for a low blow in the final round, that put the seal on the win for the 30-year-old with the judges marking the bout 30-27, 30-26 and 29-27 in his favour.
O’Kane moves to 7-0 and will take a step up in his career when he fights on the big Matchroom Sport bill in Belfast in September. And despite being the bookies’ favourite the new champ admitted that it was a dangerous decision to take a spot in the last man standing tournament.
‘It was a risk to enter but it has paid off 100 per cent,’ said O’Kane. ‘I’ve always loved the format and it is almost a free shot to boost your career and leapfrog your rivals.
‘I don’t think any of the boys who lost here tonight have been damaged by their defeats as it was a great show – but my name is out there big time now, and I aim to capitalise.
‘I might be a bit short of title contention yet – I haven’t been beyond eight rounds and was only 4-0 before winning here. But I am ready to step up as I’m 30 years old and I don’t want to hang around.’
All-Irish Betfair Prizefighter Middleweights results:
Eamonn O’Kane beat Anthony Fitzgerald – split decision 29-28, 28-29, 30-27
Ryan Greene beat Ciaran Healy – unanimous decision 29-28, 29-28, 30-27
JJ McDonagh beat Darren Cruise – unanimous decision 30-26, 30-26, 29-27
Joe Rea beat Simon O’Donnell – unanimous decision 29-28, 29-28, 29-28
Eamonn O’Kane beat Ryan Greene – first round stoppage 2 minutes 22 seconds
JJ McDonagh beat Joe Rea – unanimous decision 30-27, 30-27, 29-28
Eamonn O’Kane beat JJ McDonagh – unanimous decision 30-27, 30-26, 29-27