Boxing: Murray the master - but Fagan fuming
AN angry Oisin Fagan failed to show up at the post-fight conference in the National Stadium in Dublin on Saturday night after being stopped in five rounds by Cavan's Andy Murray in an Irish lightweight title fight -- sending text messages instead to boxing writers saying he was robbed.
"I'm disgusted the fight was stopped so early," he said last night. "I usually don't get going until after six rounds and most everybody knows I'd only been stopped twice in 32 previous fights. I wasn't even told why this was stopped. I wasn't hurt. I was still punching and going forward. I'd take a rematch tomorrow."
But the reality is that the brave Dubliner was trailing on points in this Brian Peters promotion, with Murray, now unbeaten in 18 fights, scoring freely with his long left jabs and right hooks as well as uppercuts to the head and body.
The resilient Fagan, billed as 'Gael Force', was being gradually blown away, though he was never on the canvas, when Belfast referee David Irving intervened.
Galway's Coleman Barrett is the new Irish heavyweight champion. A first cousin of 1996 Olympics contender Francis, he survived a scary second round against Dubliner Colin Kenna when he was dropped for an eight count and was being hammered on the ropes just before the bell, only to make a great recovery and win 97-92.
Barrett has now been ordered by the Boxing Union of Ireland to defend his new belt against Belfast's No 1 contender Martin Rogan, the former Commonwealth champion, within six months. And Barrett, who is based in London, is prepared to take on Rogan and anybody else who fancies his chances.
"Whenever Rogan is ready, and I understand he is out injured at the moment, he'll find me willing and able," he said. "I know it was a great shot that put me down in the second and I was in trouble, but the important thing is that I got up. So bring them on. They won't find me waiting around, that's for sure."
On a card featuring a record four national championships, unbeaten Dublin featherweight Patrick Hyland made a successful defence of his belt by stopping Mickey Coveney, a Londoner whose father is from Cork, in seven rounds.