STEVE COLLINS was back on some old, familiar territory in Cork last night to receive another belt, this time at Neptune Stadium where his brother, Paschal, was promoting the Irish middleweight title fight between Corkman Gary “Sp.ike” O’Sullivan and Ciaran Healy.
His first belt came on that memorable night at the Green Glens Arena in Millstreet when he wrested the WBO world super middleweight title from the then-unbeaten Chris Eubank.
Collins, who was based in the US mixing it with some of the best in the world got a long overdue shot at the title when Ray Close failed a medical and the Dubliner was brought in as a replacement.
Collins stunned the boxing world again when he successfully defended it against Eubank at Páirc Uí Chaoimh and he returned to defend it again at Millstreet. But when he won the Irish middleweight title in Boston back in 1988, beating Sam Storey, the Boxing Union of Ireland had not been formed so he did not get a belt. Last night however, that was rectified when Hazel Byrne from Maher Sports presented him, belatedly, with the belt.
Incidentally, on his first visit to Cork, Collins won a national juvenile title at City Hall when the championships were awarded to Cork as part of the Cork 800 celebrations.
Back in the ring, Eddie Hyland who holds the IBF International title as well as the Irish title, faced a formidable opponent in Maurycy Gojko of Poland who arrived in Cork on the back of 10 successive victories.
The Polish super featherweight tried to dominate the fight but his efforts were thwarted by Hyland who pushed him back with good combinations to the head and body.
Hyland stopped Gojko in his tracks with a big right cross to the head at the end of the round and he kept up the pressure in the second, controlling the centre of the ring with an accurate left jab. Gojko was content to spend his time on the back foot.
Gojko, now bleeding from the head, shipped some big punches in the third round in his attempt to come forward and Hyland closed off with a big combination to the head that staggered his opponent. Gojko came back with some good shots in the fourth but now Hyland was all over him, scoring with solid jabs, hooks to the head and body and keeping busy all the time.
Hyland continued to work off his left jab and totally dominated the fight from here on with referee Emile Teidt awarding the verdict to Hyland 60-54.
Ian Tims was back in the ring after a nine-month break in search of his seventh win and he was made to work hard by Polish cruiserweight, Radaslaw Musial who got through with some good shots in the opening round.
Tims, a three-time Irish amateur champion, weathered the storm and came back to exert total dominance on the fight in the second round when he had his opponent on the back foot from a solid left jab before he put Musial on the floor with a big right hook to the body.
Musial did well to survive the round and it came as no surprise when he did not come out for the third.
Mullingar super middleweight, Paddy McDonagh, notched up his second win in his second pro fight when he won all four rounds against Mariusz Radziszewski (Poland).
Southpaw McDonagh pounded his man with big right hooks to the head, doubling up to the body, and although he took his foot off the pedal in the third round he came back with some big shots in the fourth.
Results: International Super Middleweight, 4x3 mins: P McDonagh (Mullingar) beat M Radziszewski (Poland) Pts 40-36.
International Cruiserweight 6 x 3 mins: I Tims (Dublin) beat R Musial (Poland) Rtd. Rd 2.
Super Featherweight, 6 x 3 mins: E Hyland Dublin beat M Gojko (Poland) Pts 60-54.
Supporting Amateur Bouts: 57kg Youth 1: D Roche (Riverstown) beat D Murray (Dungarvan) Maj. Pts.
81 Kg Intermediate: C O’Brien (Loughmahon) beat D Dolan (St. John’s, Fermoy) Pts.
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