15 November 2008 – by Mark Doyle
Bernard Dunne moved one step closer to a world title shot with a comfortable points win over Cristian Faccio on Saturday night but the bout in Mayo was stopped prematurely due to a horrific cut sustained by the Irish super-bantamweight midway through the seventh round.
The gash was the result of a sickening clash of heads and, such was its severity, that the ringside doctor was left with no option but to call an end to the fight before the start of the eighth round.
The referees scorecard was called for and the decision went 70-65 in Dunnes favour.
The Dubliner was bitterly disappointed by the unsatisfactory conclusion of the bout but he had every reason to be proud of his performance as he had boxed beautifully up until that point.
Indeed, after a slow start, the former European champion took control of the fight, dictating the pace superbly with his jab and landing repeatedly with short, sharp left hands.
Dunnes reach advantage was evident from very early on and time and time again he beat Faccio to the punch before using his impressive footwork to quickly slip back outside and out of harms way.
Faccio did launch something of a rally in the sixth, when he appeared to momentarily hurt Dunne, but the local favourite soon reasserted his dominance, which was based on his far superior hand speed.
The clash of heads midway through the seventh threatened to offer Faccio a route back into the fight as Dunnes vision was undoubtedly compromised by the river of blood flowing down his forehead and into his eyes, but despite being force to dab at the blood in an attempt to regain full vision he actually finished the round the stronger, landing flush a number of times as he halted Faccios forward charge.
This made the ending all the more frustrating, both for Dunne and the 2,500 spectators in attendance. As it stood, the final three rounds would have made for compulsive viewing but, unfortunately, it was decided that Dunne just could not continue.
Stay tuned to irish-boxing.com this week for exclusive ringside interviews from Castlebar including Henry Coyle, Oisin Fagan, Paul McCloskey and Carl Froch.