Weekend round-up: Collins scores US win and Smith shocks the World

There were Irish in action at all levels all around the globe last weekend.

First up was the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton on Friday where there was disappointment for Mike McWilliams. The Phoenix stepped up to welterweight to face the challenge of Andre Byrd, and was harshly adjudged to have drawn with the cagey American on two of the judges’s cards.

Headlining the show in Canada was lightweight Cam O’Connell, who scored a fantastic final round knockout over the game Hungarian Bence Molnar.

On Saturday there was plenty of Irish interest at the Guild Hall in Preston on the MGM Manchester card. Ulster journeymen Alec Bazza and Ben Mulligan gave tests to Reece MacMillan and Jason Sillet respectively, and there was an easy points win for former World title challenger Jimmy Kelly Jr against Deividas Sajauka.

In the main event there was a fourth round stoppage win for Liam Conroy over high-level journeyman Ferenc Albert. A statement-making and redemptive win for Conroy who will now look towards the British light heavyweight scene.

Across the Atlantic in Maine there was a comfortable points win for Steve Collins Jr over Jose Humberto Corral. The Wolfhound will be happy to have gotten six rounds of competitive action in against a tricky and experienced foe.

There was a huge upset in Chicago where Joe Smith Jr inflicted a heavy first round knockout on the World title-chasing Andrzej Fonfara. The win, which few outside of Smith’s inner circle predicted, has catapulted the Irish Bomber into the title frame in the packed light heavyweight division.

Finally, on Sunday morning, there was a majority decision defeat Down Under for Liam Hutchinson. The light middleweight lost over eight rounds to Kolby Johnston in Hamilton.

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: [email protected]