Boxing

Garda Niall Kennedy back on the beat after win in Boston

Heavyweight Niall Kennedy was one of four Irish fighters on the bill at the TD Garden on Saturday night
Andy Watters

NIALL Kennedy will be back on the beat on Wednesday with a “dead right arse cheek” and a 12-0-1 record after he out-pointed tough Brendan ‘Brutal’ Barrett on Saturday night.

Micky Ward walked the Wexford Garda to the ring and, while the fight wasn’t as entertaining as some of Ward’s unforgettable tear-ups it was a good night’s work for Kennedy.

Barrell-chested Barrett was around a foot shorter so he wisely chose to try and fight at close quarters. Kennedy caught him with a left-right hook as he came bulldozing in but he had to take a right hand counter himself before the end of the round.

Former MMA fighter Barrett threw Kennedy to the floor with a wrestling move in the second and took a stern warning from the referee but once Kennedy started to let his hands go he took control

He nailed Barrett with a chopping right hand over the top in the fifth that drove him into the ropes and Kennedy caught him again as he rebounded. The New Jersey man took an eight count but managed to see out the round and fought on gamely to the finish. “I got the job done I suppose,” said Kennedy who dedicated the win to his best friend who is battling cancer at home in Gorey.

“He’s a tough one, he’d never been beaten, he’d never been stopped and I’m a little bit disappointed because I would have loved to have stopped him.

“I needed the six rounds and I know I have to be busier with the jab and listen more but it’s a win and I move on.”

After the fight, Barrett apologized to Kennedy for the MMA throw in the second round.

“I was panicking, I thought there was a choke hold coming,” joked Kennedy.

“He was unorthodox. I’ve a dead right arse cheek and I don’t think you’re supposed to have one of them in boxing. He was wider than he was tall so he was physically strong but I couldn’t explain some of things he was doing.”

The Irish heavyweight title is vacant at present – the last champion was Tyson Fury – but Kennedy will continue to ply his trade in the US.

“It’s not that it doesn’t interest me,” he explained.

“I wouldn’t dishonour the BUI or anything but I never had success as an amateur in Ireland and my objective when I started was to build what I’m building here.”

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