Boxing

Tyrone tornado Tiernan Bradley makes it three in-a-row at Europa Hotel fight night

Tiernan Bradley cruised to a knockout win at the Europa Hotel on Saturday night
Andy Watters

TIERNAN Bradley extended his knockout streak to three with a comprehensive victory against out-classed Janos Penzes at the Europa Hotel on Saturday night.

Omagh light-welterweight Bradley had Penzes back-pedalling after an early left hook and trapped him in a neutral corner towards the end of the second round. A chopping right hand sent the Hungarian down and he was counted out by referee Hugh Russell junior.

Former Conor McGregor sparring partner Bradley moved to 6-0 with the win and his silky skills, power and flair all mark him out as a man to keep an eye on as his career progresses.

“It was a fantastic atmosphere and thanks to all the fans for coming out,” he said.

“It was a great knockout and hopefully my KO streak will continue. From the first bell he was very negative so I hope I can get a better opponent next time so I can keep moving up the rankings.

“Every single opponent I've had up until now has been a stepping stone and I want to step on further now.”

Bradley is based in Dublin these days but hopes to return to Belfast for the next MHD Promotions show.

“If Mark will have me back, I'd be very happy to come back,” he said.

“Mark Dunlop shows are going to be the basis of Belfast boxing. There'll be the big shows the Conlans will put on but these small hall bills are very important too.”

Bradley's finish was knockout of the night but ‘Fight of the Night' was Colm ‘Posh Boy' Murphy's furious rumble with experienced Nicaraguan Bryan Mairena who had previously tangled with James Tennyson and Gary Cully.

Dee Walsh-trained Murphy's punch output barely slackened and he was a shut-out points winner after six terrific rounds. Cool under fire with a crisp jab, Murphy hammered Mairena with a succession of left hook counters to take his record to 3-0.

There was also success for ‘Lilywhite Lightning' Eric Donovan who rebounded from his recent loss to Robeisy Ramirez and boxed his way to a composed win over six rounds and Limerick middleweight Graham McCormack.

TEARS weren't far away after rookie Ruadhan Farrell forced his first stoppage win as a professional at the Europa Hotel on Saturday night.

Farrell, who served a tough apprenticeship on the semi-pro scene, made his professional debut in March and, after blasting out experienced Luke Fash in the first round, he has set his sights on becoming coach John Breen's “next world champion”.

“I wasn't expecting it (the stoppage) but when I saw my chance I grabbed it with both hands,” said Farrell.

“I caught him with a left hook in the first 10-15 seconds and I thought: ‘I'm gonna stop this kid' and then in the last 10-15 seconds of the round I stopped him easy.

“I don't think he hit me once, he hit my gloves more, so it was really good. I was nearly crying there but I'll keep the tears in. It's my first stoppage and I wasn't expecting it, I was expecting to go in and do the four rounds but when you see someone hurt, you stop them and I feel really good, I could go again in a couple of weeks.

“I was a bit rusty on my debut so I stayed in the gym and worked hard and I proved a lot of people wrong tonight. I was getting called out by nobodies so it was good to show them that if they want to fight me, that's what they're up against. It was good to get the stoppage and show what I'm all about.”

Working as a coach in Barney Eastwood's iconic Belfast gym, Farrell's coach Breen trained Dave ‘Boy' McAuley (IBF flyweight), Fabrice Benichou (IBF super-bantamweight), Paul Hodkinson (WBC featherweight), Crisanto Espana (WBA welterweight) and Victor Cordoba (WBA super-middleweight) to global success and then guided a succession of fighters including Eamonn Magee, Martin Rogan, Paul McCloskey, Jamie Conlan and Neil Sinclair to title success. Farrell intends to be the next entry on that list.

“I'll be John Breen's next world champion,” he said.

“He's like a father figure to me. I've been with him for four years and he's stood by me; he knows me better than anyone and I'll be a world champion before he retires. The sky's the limit – dream big, work hard and anything's possible.”

LIGHT-heavyweight Joshua Buatsi intends to showcase his world title ambitions in Saturday night's London derby against Craig Richards at London's O2 Arena.

Richards is bouncing back after a tight loss to Dmitry Bivol last May but his performance against the WBA champion looks much more impressive after Russian Bivol produced a masterclass to defeat Mexican pound for pound king Canelo Alvarez.

“I am the best in the country,” said Olympic bronze medal winner Buatsi.

“Everyone can say they are the best, but until someone gets a world title to separate themselves, then everyone has a point to make and we are the first to really fight.

“He is saying I haven't proved myself, but I don't think that's true. We were both amateurs, he fought, I fought, we entered the same tournaments and I went on and did what I did. He can't say that I've had an easier route, just because I went to the Olympics and did well.

“I killed myself for that medal, gave everything for it, so the narrative people have said and that he's said too, I don't think it's true.”

Buatsi progressed to 15-0 with an impressive late stoppage win against Ricards Bolotniks last August. Bolotniks was down in the sixth and again in the 11th before Buatsi closed the show.

“He was a very good opponent and I stopped him,” said the Londoner.

“His management team said that they rated me for taking the fight because all the other light-heavyweights in the country didn't want to fight him but we didn't think twice.

“Craig had a good scrap with Bivol but people have forgotten about it. I beat Bolotniks and people have forgotten about that too, that's just what happens, but we're here now. There wasn't a lot of options out there, it was a fight that was being pushed and I said: ‘Cool let's take it'. It's a good fight, he's a good opponent, it's in London. I have the same mindset and I'll handle business as usual.

“I am better than him - 100 per cent. I've looked at him in the eyes and he knows who I am. You don't need to explain, I don't need to talk smack and I don't need the media - I love my private life.

“I've got opinions but I don't care about social media or any of that. Forget the image: When I fight it's straight violence.”

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Boxing