12 July 2008 – by Cormac Campbell
Irish super-bantamweight star Bernard Dunne was back to his best as he outclassed the game Damian Machiano at a raucous National Stadium on Saturday night.
The Dubliner, 26-1 (14KO), still reeling from a first round KO defeat at the hands of Kiko Martinez last August, could be seen rediscovering his swagger over ten entertaining rounds which topped an entertaining Brian Peters Promotions card at the South Circular Road sweatpit.
Marchiano, 15-5-1 (5KO) was never expected to cause the former EBU titleholder major difficulties but the word that the hometown favourite had gone in to the fight with a badly damaged right hand made the way Dunne went about business rather impressive. In fact, rumours around ringside rightly or wrongly intimated that in the week before the fight the entire card hung in the balance.
Without the full use of his right hand it is hardly surprising that Dunne never chased a stoppage despite the Argentineans regular attempts to goad him into over commitment.
There were signs of a new maturity in Dunnes work less playing to the adoring crowd and a high work rate.
Securing a rematch with Martinez or a crack at EBU champion Rendall Munroe now appears to be the objective for the 28-year-old.
On the undercard Jim Rock captured the Irish light-heavyweight title to add to his light-middle, middle and super-middle with an impressive seventh round stoppage of Jonjo Finnegan. The 36-year-old Dubliner, 29-4 (11KO) was in control throughout the contest, scoring freely with overhand rights and softening his opponent to the body.
The most impressive performance however was that of Andrew Murray. The young Cavan stylist put in a punch perfect display on perennial spoiler Peter McDonagh to lift the Irish lightweight crown. The natural fight for Murray now is Oisin Fagan who was also victorious on the card with a points victory over Konstantin Sakara. One fly in the ointment however is the news that Fagan who was trained by John Breen for Saturdays contest has signed for a rematch against Verquan Kimbrough in August.