Andy Lee makes winning comeback with unanimous decision in New York
Andy Lee made a winning return to the ring with a a unanimous decision over KeAndrae Leatherwood in Madison Square Garden.
The Limerick middleweight emerged victorious on all three judge's scorecards - 80-72, 78-74 and 79-73 - after eight rounds to cap a successful weekend of boxing for the Irish Stateside following Michael Conlan's win over Tim Ibarra at the same venue 24 hours earlier.
It was Lee's first fight since his defeat to England’s Billy Joe Saunders in December 2015.
On the main card, Gennady Golovkin survived the toughest test of his career to defeat Daniel Jacobs before setting his sights on a blockbuster showdown with Canelo Alvarez.
GGG headed into the fight on a run of 23 straight knockouts but found Jacobs, known as "Miracle Man" since coming back from bone cancer five years ago, in no mood to lie down and the American pushed the undefeated Kazakh all the way to a judges’ decision.
Two judges scored it 115-112, with the third making it 114-113 in favour of Golovkin, who successfully retained his WBC, WBA, IBF and IBO middleweight crowns.
And in the immediate aftermath Golovkin, who also refused to rule out a rematch with the hugely impressive Jacobs, turned his attention towards a long-awaited clash with powerful Mexican Alvarez.
“Of course I am ready to fight Canelo,” he said. “Of course I want that fight. I am like an animal for that fight.”
Golovkin knocked Jacobs down in the fourth with a double dose of rights but as the fight wore on Jacobs confused the Kazakh by sliding into a southpaw stance, scoring on stinging combinations, holding his own against the dangerous power of the champion.
After a cautious, feeling out in the first two rounds, the bout blossomed into a fascinating battle with the fighters engaging freely in a thrilling duel to the finish that almost produced another Jacobs' miracle.
Golovkin’s unblemished record now stands at 37-0, while Brooklyn native Jacobs dropped to 32-2.
Meanwhile, at a show in Boston, former European amateur champion Ray Moylette fashioned a points win in a four round contest against local boxer Matt Probin. Just three weeks after his professional debut in London, the Mayo native underlined his class in the contest.
On the same bill Cork middleweight Spike O’Sullivan got back to winning ways; his Columbian opponent Ronald Montes was forced to retire in the third round with a rib injury.
Wexford heavyweight Niall Kennedy extended his run to 7-0 when he won the vacant Massachusetts State title via a stoppage win.
The faltering professional career of London Olympic silver medallist John Joe Nevin hit another speed bump when the Mullingar man was forced to pull out of a scheduled fight – his ninth since turning pro in 2014 – in Philadelphia next Friday with a rib injury.
In amateur boxing at the Pavlyukov Youth Memorial tournament in Anapa in Russa, Irish captain Aaron McKenna claimed gold in the light welterweight final beating a Russian in the decider.
In the welterweight final Gabriel Dossen had to content with a silver after he lost his final. Earlier in the tournament Eamer Coughlan won a bronze medal in the lightweight division.