Dunne Upsets Cordoba: It happened, and that’s all that matters!

March 22nd 2009 - By Irish Paddy Cronan, 7:40 PM in Dublin’s new O2. I’m sitting ringside talking to Irish Light Heayweight Jamie Power when my phone goes off. This was nothing unusual as my phone had been hopping all day leading up to the fight. I opened the text to see it was from Dean Byrne. I read it: Freddie (Roach) has predicted that Ben Dunne will win his title by knock out. I had been nervous all day long this was the biggest moment in Irish boxing this millennium. I felt comforted by the news. The stage was set and the battle lines were drawn.

Round 1 and 2 - Cordoba used his jab well to keep Dunne off. Bernard had some success with the left hook. Coming towards the end of the second round Dunne put the foot down and was landing punches in two’s and three’s..

Round 3

Cordoba put the end of round two behind him and came out boxing well. Towards then end of the round Dunne came on strong again with 28 seconds left Dunne landed a sweet left hook on the chin of Cordoba. The Irish crowd erupted everything seemed to be going to plan.

Round 4

Dunne started strong had further success with his left hook. But a clash of heads had opened a cut above Dunne’s left eye. Cordoba took advantage of this and controlled the rest of the round.

Round 5

Round five started off with a Cordoba slip the crowd however went wild. Cordoba started coming forward in this round more than before at 1.05 Dunne felt the canvas for the first time. Then came a Dunne slip, with 50 seconds to go in the 5th round Dunne hit the floor again. Cordoba had clearly forgotten to read the script. Memories of the Kiko Martinez stirred within me and I’m sure I wasn’t alone. It seemed everyone in crowd were having the very same flash backs. If Dunne needed the fans at any stage in his career this was the time. They dually obliged with deafening support and he held out until the end of the round Cordoba stalking him all the while.

Rounds 6 and 7

Dunne showed he would not be beaten, this was his time. He used his jab to good effect and continued to throw punches in flurries of twos and threes to keep Cordoba at bay. The way he was moving his body reminded me of a Cobra that was ready to strike. It really was something special.

Rounds 8 and 9

Cordoba started coming forward in an effort to dominate rounds. It was clear Cordoba did not want to leave the fight to the judges. He had been burned three times on the road in his career and was not about to have it happen a fourth time. Dunne dealt with Cordoba’s pressure and dished it back while fighting off the back foot.

Round 10

Cordoba came out throwing again Dunne was again on the back foot for the majority of this round but was counter punching to perfection. Towards the end of the round Cordoba was launching body shots and had dunne against the ropes. Dunne would not go down his fans would not allow it.

Round 11

The two men exchanged blows the tide was ebbing back and forth then with one minute left in the round Cordoba tasted canvas for the second time. Then with 45 seconds left he was down again. Cordoba was out on his feet then Dunne connected with several punches and put Cordoba to the canvas for the forth and last time. With this the o2 erupted with ecstasy.

Ireland had a world champion again.

I would like to thank Brian Peters for having faith in Bernard Dunne. There was a time earlier in the decade when I had lost interest in boxing preferring instead to watch soccer and gaelic sports. That all changed when Bernard came back to Ireland, his performances in the ring had relight the fire in my heart that had long been extinguished. For that reason I will always think of Bernard with a great fondness. The Irish people must also give thanks to Freddie Roach who took Ben under his wing in LA. Make no mistake, this is more than just a world title win this is Ireland laying down a marker in world boxing. She shouts loudly, “We’ve been away far too long, but were back”.

This win has given hope to a new generation of irish boxers that they too can lift a world crown. Young Irish fighters like the Hyland brothers, Dean Byrne, Andy Murray and Andy Lee know it is not outside they the realm of possibility for them to claim a crown.

Along with "BigTime" Tim Kudgis and Suge Green, “Irish” Paddy Cronan is part of the On The Grind Radio team. OTG Radio is live at 8pm est/5pm pst Sundays and Thursdays (1am UK, Mondays and Fridays) right here on listen to past episodes by clicking the "On The Grind Boxing Radio" button.

Article posted on 22.03.2009

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