Galway has a new world champion. Kickboxer Nikki Collins has claimed the IKF World Bantamweight title, becoming the first female world champion from the west of Ireland.
Collins was crowned on Saturday night at Rumble In The Bay event in Leisureland after dismantling Britain’s Carla Jessup the win by stoppage in the fourth round.
Jessup, who is the current IKF European champion and has defended it on two occasions, also won the 2008 IKF World Classic Championships in Orlando.
However on Saturday evening Collins put the European champion under severe pressure, and when Collins swept Jessup to the floor on two occasions in the fourth round, and forced a standing eight-count, the Galway fighter went for the kill. A barrage of vicious kicks and deadly accurate punches had Jessup on the canvas once again and referee Bobby Nolan from Dublin called a halt to proceedings which ensured Collins secured the World title by way of knockout.
Collins’ fight was one of seven title deciders on the night. Cathal Manning made a mandatory defence of his IKF European supermiddleweight title against Rob Burbridge in the last fight of the night and took the judges’ decision in a fight that could have gone either way.
Gary Manogue, who recently knocked out Gareth Porter in Telford for the IKF Five Nations super welterweight title, added the IKF All Ireland belt to his collection when he out-pointed Kilkenny’s Kayne Nelson.
Alex Novac won the IKF All Ireland welterweight title by outpointing a game Chris Coyle from Donegal and 15-years-old Charlie Ward won the IKF All Ireland junior light welterweight title in one of the best fights of the night when he received the nod over Dublin’s Eric Nolan.
Catherine Cullinan took the decision after five hard rounds over Dublin’s Lindsey Doyle to become the IKF All Ireland lightweight champion, while Eric Daly made a successful mandatory defence of his IKF Five Nations super lightweight title against Dee Mc Guinness from PT's gym in Derry.