Patrick Hyland and Brian Magee were left licking their wounds on both sides of the Atlantic on Saturday night after suffering losses in WBA World title fights in the USA and Denmark.
Dublin-born Hyland, fighting on the Marquez-Pacquiao undercard in Las Vegas, lost on a unanimous decision to Javier Fortuna for the WBA Interim Featherweight belt.
All three judges scored the 12-rounder (115-113, 116-112, 118-110) to the unbeaten Dominican Republic southpaw against the Dublin man who suffered the first loss of his 28-fight career.
However, the New York-based orthodox, nicknamed ‘The Punisher’, has vowed to bounce back and believes he has proved that he belongs at the top table.
“A lot of people were predicting I would be out of my depth against Fortuna and were tipping him to blow me away in a round or two,” he said. “They obviously didn’t know me. I’m a stubborn Irishman. I think I proved a lot of people wrong. Fortuna was billed as the next big thing in boxing but I felt I burst his bubble in there. He had a reputation as a huge puncher but I can honestly say he never hurt me at any point.”
Meanwhile, Mikkel Kessler claimed his fifth world title after dethroning former Irish Olympian Magee at the Boxen Arena in Herning, Denmark on Saturday night.
Magee, the WBA super-middleweight champion, was dropped by a body shot from the Dane in the second round and the referee called a halt 24 seconds into the third after the Lisburn southpaw went down under a right hook.
Magee, who had previously KO’d Kessler’s compatriots Mads Larsen and Rudy Markussen in Denmark, admitted it all began to unravel after he was felled by the first body shot.
He said: “Mikkel is a great champion. All through the fight and the build-up he treated me with respect. I always knew he was a champion. I gave it my all but a body shot like that is hard to recover from.”
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