Boxing

Ryan Burnett body shot spells end for gutsy Jelbirt Gomer and it's another night of glory for Marco McCullough

Belfast fighter Ryan Burnett back to winning ways. Picture by Mal McCann
From Anthony Gunning at the Ulster Hall

RYAN Burnett got back to winning ways at the Ulster Hall last night as a body shot after 2.01 of the sixth round accounted for a very game Jelbirt Gomera.

Having lost his bantamweight title due to a freak injury in Glasgow back in November, this was the North Belfast man's first foray in the super-bantamweight division and he enjoyed a winning start after a highly entertaining contest.

"It is good to be back," he said after.

"I recovered quick from the injury so I just got back into the gym. I got the win, so it's time to put the head down and get serious."

Burnett looked excellent in the opening rounds, clearly hurting the Filipino several times, but Gomera was game and enjoyed a great start to the second.

Burnett backed into the corner and waved his foe on before countering and finishing strong.

Burnett was warned twice for low blows that appeared borderline and he was docked a point earlier in the sixth, but it was a clipping right to the body that forced Gomera's oil light to finally flick to zero as he turned his back and winced, signalling that enough was enough.

"That's the longest I have been out as an amateur or a pro in my career, so it was great to be back," he added.
I could have made bantamweight comfortably, but I'm testing myself up at super-bantam and we'll see what my team wants next for me."

IT was another night of glory for Marco McCullough at the Ulster Hall last night as the Shankill man claimed the vacant IBF European super-featherweight title with a stunning knockout victory over Declan Geraghty.

It was a monster right hand from the Belfast man who has no won all four of his all-Irish derbies to close the show in a fight that just seemed to be coming to life.

This was make or break for both men, but McCullough pulled out the win when it mattered to claim a win that can reignite his career.

It was a close first round with McCullough making Geraghty miss although shots were getting through as a welt appeared over the Shakill man's right eye.

That grew in the second as again, both men looked for openings, but they weren't plentiful with it again being a tough round to score.

A clash of heads in the the third opened a over Geraghty's eye in the third as the action became a little more heated, but as Geraghty just thought he was having joy, he walked onto that monster of a right and that was it as he was down and out after.

"I just felt it as soon as I hit him that it was a great shot," said McCullough after.

"It's funny, but he caught me with a body shot earlier in the round and I really felt it, but I just walked him onto that one lovely and finished it.

"It was a massive fight for me and I knew I had to win. I'm just happy I did."

With this being his fourth all-Irish win, he said the nature of the derbies ensure no stone was left unturned in preparation.

"This is the best camp I've had in a while," he added.

"These fights are great because you are always up for them and they definitely are great for the sport with the crowd into it."
Sean McComb produced another ruthless performance as he blasted through Miroslav Serban in just 72 seconds to improve to 7-0.

McComb hurt Serban early and pounced on him immediately, forcing the contest to be waved over as he now looks to target a title shot before the year is out.

"I trained for eight, hard rounds, but once I saw the opportunity I took it," he said after.

"This was live on ESPN in the States so I knew I had the chance to catch promoters' eyes there. I will be out in the Feile (August 3) so I want to push on now if the opportunity comes."

Dee Sullivan began his professional career with an excellent 40-36 points win over Pawel Strykowski at cruiserweight.
Lewis Crocker improved to 8-0 with a 60-55 points win over the game Jumanne Camero.

'The Croc' landed some heavy artillery throughout and it was hard to see where the even round came from. Camero was certainly durable although seemed in distress in the sixth, but claimed a moral victory by seeing the final bell.

Steven Donnelly scored an excellent fourth round stoppage over Edwin Palacios in their middleweight contest.

The visitor was perhaps a little overconfident that Donnelly was unable to hurt him by waving him in during the third, but was made to pay in the next frame as Donnelly landed a 'Canelo-esque' left to the body that had Palacios down and out after 1.18 of the round.

Elsewhere, Sean Duffy enjoyed a fine start to life as a pro with a second round stoppage win over Antonio Horvatic who was down twice in the second round before referee Eamonn Magill waved the action off 47 second in.

Callum Bradley was also celebrating with a routine 40-36 points win over Rafael Castillo at light-middleweight, while Padraig McCrory impressed in a 60-54 points win over Eric Nwankwo at light-heavyweight.

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