By David Boyle: Dungiven’s Eamon O’Kane took the spoils in what must go down as one of the best Irish title fights in history at a sold out Fairways Hotel, Dundalk last weekend.
With O’Kane and Anthony Fitzgerald having fought each other over three rounds in the middleweight prizefighter in 2012, there was a score to settle with Fitzgerald not happy with a lot of things in the first fight.
With both men having a huge support at the fairways they drowned out the MC at the introduction and throughout the fight made instructions a lot harder for veteran referee Micky Vann.
From the start the fight was fought at a furious tempo with O’Kane starting the quickiest jumping in and out with big shots every one with bad intentions. Fitzgerald on the other hand looked composed and looked to box to a game plan behind the jab. Over the first three rounds it was clear that this was gonna be a gruelling battle in a very hot arena, and any of the first threerounds could have gone to either man, however a cut opened up on the right temple of Fitzgerald.
The fourth round say a swing in the way of O’Kane having spent most of the round outboxing Fitzgerald and making the Dubliner miss with his shots. Nearing the close of the round both men fell heavily to the floor and O’Kane seemed to get the worst of the fall with Fitzgerald falling heavily on top of the Dungiven man.
The fourthh seemed to signal a change in the tide and Eamon gradually chalked up the rounds out boxing Fitzgerald. With such a tempo being forced by O’Kane one could have imaged that he would slow down as the rounds progressed but this was not to be the case however, and it was Fitzgerald who was starting to lose his composure as he could feel the rounds slipping away.
In the sixth O’Kane was warned for a low blow but continued to box and Fitzgerald end ed the round missing badly with his shots. In the 7th round again O’Kane was warned for low blows.
Although he was winning most of the rounds, they were open for debate as Fitzgerald although he seemed to be doing alittle less, was boxing well but just didn’t seem to be doing enough.
The eighth round saw referee Micky Vann lose patience with O’Kane for continually hitting low and he took a point of, however the Dungiven fighter rallied to for me even the round 9-9.
The ninth round was a good round for Fitzgerald and he caught O’Kane cleanly sending him to the ropes with his head rolling back. However Eamon rallied back to wind Fitzgerald to end the round.
With the crowd making a massive noise going into the final round it was clear the fitzgerald needed a big round and came out throughing everything he had while O’Kane just looked to bring the round to a close.
O’Kane got the decision 97-94 scored by referee Micky Vann and the Irish Middleweight title.