Dunne passes tough Machado test on comeback

BERNARD DUNNE got his career back on track at the Breaffy House Resort in Castlebar on Saturday night when he out-pointed tough Felix Machado, in what was his first fight since Kiko Martinez stripped him of his European super-bantamweight title last August.

The Dubliner may have looked a little ring rusty but he performed well against the 36-year-old Argentinian who made it very clear from the outset that he had not come to Ireland just to collect a pay cheque.

Referee Emile Teidt gave every round to Dunne and while there was no doubt that Dunne won the fight the margin of victory may have been just a little flattering as the former world champion could have sneaked a couple of rounds.

But Dunne was happy to be lacing up the gloves after almost eight months in the wilderness.

“The main thing is I’m just delighted to be back boxing,” Dunne insisted. “I think you could see the inactivity in me out there tonight, so, now that I’m back, I want to be particularly busy this year. Maybe I was a little disappointed with my performance. Even though I hurt my hand, I still feel that my movement could have been better — but I definitely think the 10 rounds will be good for me.

“I hurt the hand about midway through round one — it was just a simple right hand I was throwing, but I just felt it jarring.

“I have to admit I was a bit rusty in the beginning, but I think you have to give credit to Felix Machado too.”

There were anxious moments when he picked up a cut from a clash of heads during the fifth round and while it looked serious it did not cause him undue concern but it will take time to heal.

“I could actually see the thickness of the blood flowing down and that’s how I knew it was quite a deep cut,” he said. “The first thing that went through my head was that this was bad.

“I have a great cut man in Benny King, and as soon as I got back to the corner he told me not to worry about it, it wasn’t going to be a problem.”

“It was a tough fight with a tough opponent,” promoter Brian Peters insisted. “Bernard was certainly a bit rusty at the start, but then maybe some people weren’t giving Machado due credit beforehand.”

Dunne’s trainer, Harry Hawkins, was delighted that they got through 10 hard-fought rounds.

“We certainly didn’t want to put Bernard in with somebody he was going to blow away in one or two rounds,” he said.

“I could see Bernard’s rust in the first two rounds and I could see his anxiety, but I think that after those two rounds he was fine.”

Said Machado: “I have no argument with the decision but I don’t agree with the scoring. I lost the fight okay, but not by 10 rounds, maybe by two. Bernard won, but not every round.

“But Bernard is a good fighter, and a very strong one, and he beat me fair.”

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