Eric Donovan has enhanced his prospects of securing a European title fight after winning his twelfth professional contest in a row.
Topping the bill at the Devenish Centre in Belfast last night, the 34-year-old Athy featherweight stopped Mexican Joseafat Reyes in the seventh round.
Though the latter was a late replacement and had lost 11 of his 20 pro fights, he had traded leather with leading professionals and he had never previously been stopped.
But the unbeaten Donovan completely dominated the contest with a master-class performance. Referee Hugh Russell Jr was obliged to step in and stop the scheduled eight-rounder in the seventh round.
Another Kildare fighter, Gary Cully, was crowned the new Irish lightweight professional champion when he stopped Joe Fitzpatrick in the first round in the Ulster Hall, Belfast. It was the biggest win of Cully's career which was disrupted by injury in 2018. The unbeaten 24-year-old now improves his professional record to 12 wins.
At the same show, Rio Olympian David Oliver Joyce won his second European title when he stopped former world champion Lee Haskins late in the fifth round.
The Mullingar fighter, who previously won the WBO European featherweight belt, secured the WBO's super bantamweight strap as a result of this victory. Trained by Peter Taylor, he completed dominated the contest.
It was his first fight since suffering his first career loss in October and he believes he is a better boxer since dropping to super bantamweight. Hawkins announced his retirement after the fight.
Belfast lightweight Sean McComb enhanced his reputation when he stopped Argentinian Mauro Godoy in the sixth round to record his tenth professional win.