27 September 2009 – By Mark Doyle
Bernard Dunnes WBA super-bantamweight title reign was brought to a shockingly premature end at The O2 in Dublin on Saturday night, the hometown favourite suffering a brutal stoppage defeat by Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym.
In his first outing as champion, just six months on from claiming the strap with an epic victory over Ricardo Cordoba, Dunne was floored three times in the third round of a fight which evoked memories of his only other previous defeat in the paid ranks, against Kiko Martinez just over two years ago.
Dunne had actually started the bout quite competently and had probably edged the opening two rounds after boxing smartly on the outside, just as he had promised to do.
However, Kratingdaenggym with a stunning left hook at the start of the third and that changed the course of the fight irrecovably. Dunne rose to his feet and went into survival mode, doing his utmost to tie his opponent up.
Kratingdaenggym, though, was not about to allow Dunne off the hook and he dropped the Dubliner again right a hand moments later.
Dunne again managed to beat the count and was allowed to continue. Hope remained amongst a clearly shocked O2 crowd that if their man could see out the round he might be able to regroup, just as he had done against Cordoba when he recovered from two flash knockdowns to go on to win via an 11th round stoppage.
However, there was to be no escape this time around and Kratingdaenggym ended the fight with another right hand which left Dunne in a crumpled heap on the canvas.
A clearly dazed Dunne was left requiring oxygen immediately after the bout but in his post-fight interview he vowed to bounce back.
Certainly, as this was only his second ever defeat, there is no reason why he cannot. Indeed, there were many who felt his career was over after the first-round stoppage defeat at the heavy hands of Martinez.
However, after being on the wrong end of another brutal loss there will be many who will feel that Dunnes time has come and past.
It is now up to him to prove them wrong.