TYSON FURY may be the new English heavyweight champion but he left nobody in any doubt about his Irish roots when he made his Dublin debut at the O2 on Saturday night.
The 6’9” Birmingham-based fighter fulfilled the dream he had since he watched Bernard Dunne win the WBA world super-bantamweight title at the 02 last March when he got top billing on the undercard of the Dunne-Poonsawat fight.
But the expected short route victory did not materialise as Tomas Mrazek from the Czech Republic took him the full six rounds, defying the English champion’s onslaughts, although referee Emile Teidt awarded every round to Fury.
The Czech, a veteran with a record of four wins and 22 losses, was punished at the end of Fury’s enormous reach but, in every round, he came up with his own onslaught to test the rookie pro who beat John McDermott for the English heavyweight title in only his eighth fight after a controversial decision at Brentwood on September 11.
Last year Fury, who was born in Tuam, made an unsuccessful bid to contest the Irish national senior championships and take a place on the Irish team for the Beijing Olympics.
He said his grandparents come from Roscommon and Tipperary and he is a distant cousin of Andy Lee.
“I want to win the world title and defend it in Croke Park,” he said.
He didn’t feel he got a bad decision against John McDermott and promised to do better next time they meet.
After his “fight of the year” thriller with fellow Dubliner Eddie Hyland for the vacant IBA International super-featherweight title, Oisin Fagan, returned to winning ways when he stopped Jurijs Ivanovs (Latvia) 63 seconds into the second round of their lightweight contest.
Patrick Hyland, Eddie’s brother, stopped Manuel Sequera (Venezuela) half a minute into the sixth round of their featherweight contest.
But the most exciting pairing on the undercard was provided by light heavyweights Michael Sweeney from Mayo and Jamie Power from Limerick. Sweeney had Power on the floor from a big right hand in the first round and put him down again in the third before referee, Micky Vann, stopped the contest when Power sustained a cut eye.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved