Popular Dubliner Stephen Carroll certainly had a bit of beef with his opponent tonight at the Red Cow Moran Hotel. Fighting in a six rounder in just his second bout, and providing chief support for heavyweight headliner Niall Kennedy, Shorty was involved in an ill-tempered scrap with Bulgaria’s Asen Vasilev.
Initially, the Irishman showed maturity beyond his years, taking his time and mixing it well between body and head shot, hurting his experienced opponent in the closing stages of round one.
The second saw Carroll score at will with straight rights to the head, although Vasilev tried to make it a scrappy affair and went into survival mode.
In an increasingly dishevelled contest, the Dubliner found himself cut to the side of his eye following a head clash and his Eastern European opponent would have a point deducted for rabbit punching – indeed the pair came to blows after the bell in an increasingly nasty fight.
The two went to war in the fourth round, throwing huge shots and twice wrestling each other to the floor.
Into the fifth, uncharted territory for Carroll, Vasilev would twice be sent to the canvas although both were, correctly, adjudged to be shoves as the exciting fight continued at a frantic pace.
Into the final round of the exhilarating, if messy, bout, the two continued to trade – and although the Bulgarian was visibly tired and Carroll clearly had the upper hand, Vasilev clung on to see the final bell.
The referee’s final score read 60-53 in favour of the Irishman whose record now reads 2(0)-0, while 42 year old Vasilev falls to 14(5)-34(18).