Back in the day - Cuts cost Damaen Kelly his titles - The Irish News, May 24 1999

CUT TO THE BONE...Damaen Kelly is inconsolable after losing his British and Commonwealth title due to an eye injury at the Maysfield Leisure Centre on Saturday night
The Irish News Archive

BLOOD, sweat, tears... and absolute heartbreak.

As he lay outstretched on the treatment table, face reddened, white trunks splattered with blood, Damaen Kelly’s future as a world-rated flyweight looked traumatised.

Mickey Hawkins, his coach, declared last night that they are demanding a quick shot at the title, probably in October.

“He deserves a return match against Keith Knox, or whoever holds the title. The injury is bad, but cuts are sealed, he received specialist treatment at the RVH,” he said.

The 26-year-old’s loss on Saturday to Keith Knox at the Maysfield leisure centre, not on ability or surprise punch, but by a very severe cut caused by a clash of heads at the end of the sixth round, left him totally devastated.

It was a shocking injury, splits the shape of a Y to the side of his left eye, and it spells huge problems ahead for Kelly if his career is to continue.

In his 10th professional contest, he had to relinquish his British title at the first defence, and his Commonwealth title, which he was defending for the second time.

A terrible, heart-breaking price to pay for a skin weakness which has caused him trouble since turning pro. In all six rounds at the Maysfield Leisure Centre, where 1,200 fans packed in to generate a marvellous atmosphere, Kelly was the master.

Hard rounds, marked by dangerous inside tear-ups that played into Knox’s hope-to-cut fight plan, were all his.


BELFAST light welter Eamonn Magee can look forward with super confidence to a Commonwealth title showdown after blasting out a devastating KO victory at the Maysfield leisure centre at the weekend.

The 28-year-old Ardoyne fighter flattened Hartlepool’s Alan Temple right on the bell – and right on the button – at the end of round three. Promoter Frank Maloney said afterwards that SKY television bosses wanted more of Magee – and quickly.

He said that a title date for ‘The Terminator’ was in the pipeline for July in Scarborough. Fleet-footed Temple had never been stopped in a creditable career.

His fight CV included long distance wars against British champions Billy Schwer and Jason Rowlands.

But the mobile English southpaw never looked like getting off the canvas after a powerful Magee left hook/right cross combination buckled his legs bang on the bell.

Magee waved an end to a press photo shoot in the ring to show his concern as officials helped the hapless Hartlepool fighter to his feet. Afterwards Magee disclosed he almost pulled out the Maysfield promotion early last week.

He said: “I had a bit of a chest infection and wasn’t feeling on top form.

“At one stage I thought I might have to pull out of the bill but I battled on.

“Temple was tricky, hard to pin down but I caught him lovely with two great shots and I knew it was all over.

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