/ Boxing

Belfast round-up: O'Kane and Conlan land titles

Updated: Saturday, 05 Apr 2014 09:41 | Comments

Eamonn O'Kane stopped Alvaro Gaona in impressive fashion
Eamonn O'Kane stopped Alvaro Gaona in impressive fashion

By Ed Leahy

Eamonn O’Kane was crowned WBC international Silver Middleweight champion with an opening-round victory over Alvaro Gaona at the Odyssey Arena on Friday night.

Dungiven boxer O’Kane stopped the fight with a phenomenal knockout blow after two and a half minutes of the contest to claim the vacant title.

The Irish champion said: “I knew that was the shot to take him out. We’ve worked on it in the gym and we knew that was the shot, so I’m glad I landed it well.”

Jamie Conlan landed the WBO European Super-Flyweight title with a seventh-round victory over Belgian Benjamin Smoes.

Fighting on the undercard of Carl Frampton’s victory over Hugo Cázares, Conlan eased to victory with an aggressive and accomplished performance to secure the vacant European belt.

Conlan, older brother of Ireland’s Olympic bronze medallist, Michael, maintained his unbeated record to move to 11-0 after victory on the ‘This Is Belfast’ card at the Odyssey.

Conlan suffered a nasty gash over his right eye due to an accidental clash of heads early in the bout but went on to outclass Smoes before eventually stopping the fight in the seventh after a flurry of punches in the opening seconds of the round.

Conlan had dropped Smoes in the sixth round after the Belgian could not cope with the relentless attack of ‘The Mexican’ as John Breen’s fighter moved on to maintain his unbeaten record of 11-0.

Speaking to BoxNation after the fight, Conlan said: “When it (the cut) happened, I rushed in to try and bring a bit of aggression, but after that I calmed down. But I was just trying to load up a wee bit too much on the big right hand because it was landing, but if I had went with speed, I would have got him a bit quicker.”

Stephen Ormond beat Barcelona boxer Karim El Ouazghari to defend his WBO European Lightweight title.

Defending the belt for the third time, Ormond showed patience and discipline in the opening rounds and the Dubliner’s class shone through in the fifth round when a ferocious right hook effectively ended the contest.

“I’ve been working on short right hands and everything we worked on came through,” beamed ‘The Rock’ ringside after the bout.

“I’m getting bigger thanks to the work I’m doing with my strength and conditioning coach. We’ve changed the programme and it’s all starting to come off.”

“He’s starting to believe in himself now,” added coach Paschal Collins.

“He knows he is one of the best in the world.”

Ealier Irish featherweight champion Marco McCullough enjoyed a facile victory over late substitute Slovakian Elemir Rafael.

McCullough, who enjoyed a breakthrough victory in his last fight against Willie ‘Big Bang’ Casey, was due to fight Andrei Isaeu for the WBO European title but his opponent pulled out injured at the last minute.

In the opening bout of the night, Barry McGuigan-managed middleweight Conrad Cummings enjoyed a comprehensive victory over Zahari Mutafchiev.

Cummings (2-0), making his home professional debut, wasted no time announcing his arrival into the pro ranks dominating his opponent with the fight only lasting two rounds.

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