30 January 2011 – Jonny Stapleton
Anthony Fitzgerald left Lee Murtagh a bloody mess in City West on Sunday in the pair’s Irish-super middleweight title fight, which turned into a highly entertaining war of a attrition.
Murtagh, who was cascading blood from his forehead after a clash of heads in round two and some neat Fitzgerald work thereafter, was eventually stopped 1:35 into round seven leaving the Dubliner to emerge victorious from a bad blood, blood bath.
Now having finally got to grips with the Belfast born pro after five false dawns, Fitzgerald is keen to progress beyond the domestic scene. The Pride is moving down to middleweight in 2011 in a bid to move up the continental rankings and is targeting a big bout on the undercard of Willie Casey and Guillermo Rigondeaux’s world title fight.
I am ready now to step up beyond Irish level. I will wait and see what fighter Dolphil puts in front of me next. I want a big fight on March 19, Fitzgerald said after the fight.
Meanwhile former European Gold medallist Paul Griffin came back from retirement with a bang registering the punch of the day and a sensational knock out win over Janos Vass on the under-card. The amateur legend, who is just three months shy of his 40th birthday, ensured stamina was never going to be an issue and left the Hungarian staring at the ceiling after just 46 seconds of round one.
Fellow veteran Oisin Fagan did his hopes of securing one more big fight before going back into retirement no harm with a 59-55 points win over Karoly Laktos.
Cruiserweight Ian Tims was another who took the short route to victory on Dolphils Sunday matinee show stopping Viktor Szalai four seconds shy of the third bell. The former heavyweight amateur champion ended a year sabbatical with a strong, composed and clinical performance before vowing to dispatch Michael Sweeney and Darren Corbett before the year is out.
Three-time Anthony Fitzgerald opponent and serial entertainer Robbie Long came out on top of another brawl defeating professional punch bag James Tucker by a referees score of 40-38. While Darren Cruise also had his hand raised by the adjudicator after winning every round against Mickey Doherty.
JJ McDonagh bounced back from his surprise knock out reverse to Tommy Tolan registering a shut out points win over Phil Townley. The older of the two McDonagh brothers fed his opponent a diet of stiff southpaw jabs and looked a class above his tough opponent.
Finbarr The Rock Eade was another to make irrelevant the score card with a stoppage win while Paddy McDonagh also added a win to his slate.