14 November 2009 – By Cormac Campbell
Willie Casey was the standout of the University of Limerick undercard scoring an impressive sixth round stoppage of Michael OGara.
Local boy Casey was dominant throughout, throwing powerful, fast combinations that busted up, cut and broke down his game opponent. The southpaw featherweight, now 3-0, will be hoping to move quickly as aged 27 (28 in December) he does not have time on his side. He will most likely have to wait until the New Year before he returns to action, having picked up a cut above the left eye in the fourth round after shipping a right hand on the ropes.
Casey was at times over eager. Understandable when it is considered that it was his hometown debut, however his initial refusal to touch gloves at the start of the final round rightly brought reprimand from referee Emile Tiedt. Casey eventually acquiesced before unleashing a rapid attack that saw the fights conclusion after 37 seconds of the round.
Jamie Power (7-1) returned to action following a third round stoppage to Michael Sweeney in September with a fifth round stoppage of Aleksandrs Dunecs. Power, fighting at light-heavy, employed impressive body punching to bend Dunecs in half. The Limerick man is strong and aggressive, but could drop down to super-middleweight a division in which he would be well placed to claim the Irish title.
The disappointment of the evening was Matt OBrien. The Canadian had come to Limerick with much expectation following a side swipe at Dubliner Jim Rock. However, fighting for the first time since a defeat to former John Duddy foe Walid Smichet in March 2007, he looked stiff and short of ideas against the wild Jean Kamdoum. In truth, OBrien, who advanced to 18-1, seemed fortunate to pick up a 58-57 points victory.
John Waldron put in a solid performance against Martins Kukuls to extend his record to 4-2. Ballyhaunis light-heavyweight Waldron was in control for much of the contest and was value for a points victory probably at a wider margin than the official reading of 58-57.
Lee Murtagh, who next month takes on Anthony Fitzgerald for the Irish super-middleweight title opened the card with a solid points victory over Martin Glerke. Asides from picking up a bloody nose, the Belfast born Leedsman dominated throughought, picking combinations and appearing to hurt his opponent with body shots in the sixth and final round. 36-year-old Murtagh improves to 26-11-1-1.
Stay tuned to irish-boxing.com this week for interviews with Andy Lee, Matthew Macklin and Gerry Coyle.