Belfast Under Card Round-up: McIntyre takes Celtic Title, Murray impresses and Rogie presents The Big Bang with his Prizefighter Trophy

By Brendan Galbraith - To rapturous applause Willie ‘Big Bang’ Casey was presented with his Prizefighter Trophy by inaugural Prizefighter winner, Martin Rogan at the Kings Hall in Belfast.

Earlier, the Belfast crowd were treated to a host of entertaining fights in a strong under card of the McCloskey-Lauri European Title fight.

The co-feature was a Celtic Title fight, effectively an eliminator for a shot at the British Title, between experienced Scot, Kevin McIntyre and popular Lurgan man Stephen Haughian..

The first three sessions were close, McIntyre working well behind a high guard and good jab and profiting from left handed head shots. Haughian shaded a tight opening round scoring the cleaner head shots and his scoring with his only noticeable good work to the body in the fight. McIntyre shaded the second and I gave both men a share of the third.

However, the fight took a turn in McIntyre’s favour from the fourth to the eight round were he repeatedly tagged Haughian with left handed counters. In particular, Haughian was caught with a heavy shot in the fourth, which he took well, but it had inflicted cut above the Lurgan man’s left eye. In the fifth, McIntyre flicked the right jab and continued to work on Haughian’s bloodied eye. Haughian gallantly tried to step up his assaults but he was being outgunned as McIntyre countered well.

In the sixth, Haughian rediscovered his largely absent jab and had some good success, however, he still shipped heavy head shots – partly due to his lack of head movement and also because he was at times, too flat footed. This continued in the seventh round, which was another good scoring round for McIntyre. In the eighth round McIntyre was warned for a low blow, but still dominated the action. In, the ninth round Haughian got caught again with several heavy shots and was nearly floored.

In the tenth and final round, Haughian who was still looking fresh and strong, bravely gave it his all and pressed McIntyre, who was at this stage fatigued and hanging on for the final bell. Haughian showed great heart and was obviously in great shape going into this title fight. His downfall was that he lacked in the technical department. Whereas, McIntyre worked behind a tight defence, cleverly used his jab to create openings and had mastered good range with both defence and attack – Haughian was second best in all of these areas. Haughian is fresh enough to come back from this, it is only his second defeat, and first decisive defeat – but he will have to go back to the drawing board to fine-tune his boxing skills.

The judges scorecards were 94-98, 93-97 and 94-97 in favour of Kevin McIntyre.

Andy Murray v Jon Baguley

Pre-fight Murray told me that he would be waiting in the centre of the ring for Baguley and he was true to his word. Murray started slowly, shipping a couple of combinations off Baguley before kicking into gear and dominating with his own fluid combinations at the end of the opener. In the second, Murray started quickly and noticeably was putting more snap into his shots. It was the work downstairs that ultimately did the damage and Baguley was forced to hold on. In the break, Murray landed another successful body raid and smelling blood he went in hard with more head and body shots which hurt Baguley – prompting referee Paul McCullagh to step in and call off the fight at 2.41 of the second round.

This was an impressive performance by Murray who improves to 20-0 and will be out again on in ‘The Undefeateds’ Brian Peters Promotion in Cork on the 26th June. A European Title shot should be on the horizon by the end of the year for the talented Cavan man.

Luis Garcia v Nathan King

Until Garcia floored King with a heavy right in the fourth round and followed up with a flurry that forced a fourth round stoppage, it was a fairly lethargic and pedestrian performance from Garcia. Garcia threw pawing jabs from the opening round always loading up to try and land the right over the top. There were too many single pot shots, not enough use of the jab and a dearth of explosive combinations. If Garcia is to fulfil his potential as the much hyped ‘Cuban sensation’ he will need to show more to his game than what he did against King.

Ciaran Healy v Harry Matthews

Healy entered the ring to good home support and after an evenly contested opening round, Healy went on to dominate and wobbled Matthews in the second with a right head shot and third round with a left shot. As Matthews struggled to find his range, Healy couldn’t miss with his right hand and ran out a comfortable winner. Referee Richie Davies raised Healy’s hand. The official scorecard was 58-56.

Kris Carslaw v Ben Deghani

In a competitive show opener Carslaw took the first two rounds, pressing the fight and launching accurate body raids as well as profiting from good countering. Carslaw did ship a heavy left hook in the second but took it well. The third and fourth rounds were much closer and much of the work by both men was blocked. Deghani, a late replacement for Joe Rea, seemed to land more eye-catching head shots. However, it was Carslaw’s arm that was raised by referee Paul McCullagh. The official scorecard was 39-37 to Carslaw.

Graham Fearn v Gary McArthur. The opening shift was a scrappy affair with too many punches blocked with leather. In the second McArthur landed a heavy right hand to the top of Fearn’s head, flooring the Yorkshire man. Fearn beat the count but was soon in trouble again with the same right handed head shot and as McArthur teed off, refereee Paul McCullagh sensibly stepped in to call the fight off.

Finally, late addition to the card, Gavin Rees stopped Ghanian Sam Amoako in the third round.

Brendan Galbraith can be contacted at

Article posted on 15.06.2010

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