Thursday 18 October 2018

Sheahan eyes up McGregor after Last Man Standing glory

Roy Sheahan celebrates with son Cameron and daughter Sasha as referee Emile Tiedt declares him the winner against Jack Cullen in their final bout in the Last Man Standing tournament at the National Stadium. Photo: Sportsfile
Roy Sheahan celebrates with son Cameron and daughter Sasha as referee Emile Tiedt declares him the winner against Jack Cullen in their final bout in the Last Man Standing tournament at the National Stadium. Photo: Sportsfile

Bernard O'Neill

Roy Sheahan claimed the inaugural Last Man Standing middleweight title and a €25,000 purse after a hat-trick of wins at the National Stadium on Saturday night.

Sheahan hit the jackpot by beating Cork-based Vladimir Belujsky, Mullingar's JJ McDonagh and previously unbeaten Bolton prospect Jack Cullen.

Ricky Hatton. Photo: Sportsfile
Ricky Hatton. Photo: Sportsfile

The new champion cheekily said he would fancy a crack at Conor 'The Notorious' McGregor following his stunning victory.

"Everything worked to plan. I caught him with a big shot," said Kildare native Sheahan, who stopped Cullen in the first round in the final of the one-night elimination tournament.

"What next, I don't know. If Conor McGregor wants it, no problem," added the No 3 seed, who claimed four Irish Elite belts and an EU title in a stellar amateur career.

Dominic O'Rourke, president of the (Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA), who helped steer Sheahan to all his major amateur honours, was impressed with his performances against opponents who had 29 paid wins between them.

Michael O'Reilly. Photo: Sportsfile
Michael O'Reilly. Photo: Sportsfile

"He worked very hard for this and once again he showed his class," said O'Rourke.

No 1 seed McDonagh, who was beaten by Sheahan in the last four, picked up the €5,000 bonus for the quickest knockout after stopping Ger Healy in the first round.

Sheahan took six weeks off work on a building site to train for the Last Man Standing.

He's now the provisional mandatory challenger to Irish middleweight champion Luke Keeler.

However, the product of St Michael's Athy BC, who won on his pro debut last month in England, must hold a boxing licence for at least six months before he can challenge.

Craig O'Brien secured the vacant Irish super-welterweight title after a dominant unanimous decision over Jay Byrne.

Meanwhile, Kell Brook has his sights set on another world title tilt after marking his light-middleweight debut with a second-round knockout of Sergey Rabchenko in Sheffield.

Brook's career had stalled after a fruitless jump to middleweight to challenge Gennady Golovkin in September 201, before a drop back down to welterweight last May saw him lose his IBF crown to Errol Spence Jr.

But he drew a line under those twin defeats in emphatic style by ending the challenge of the rugged Rabchenko within five minutes to send a warning to the top tier of 154lb fighters.

He said: "I'm putting the champions on notice. Anyone getting hit with those (punches) and it's game over."

Irish Independent

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