Galway fighters claim title victories

The ‘Seasons Beatings’ full contact kickboxing tournament proceded last weekend in Galway, but not quite as planned.

French fighters were to feature in an Ireland v France team event but were unable to travel due to their cancelled flight, while Gary Manogue’s first defence of his IKF All Ireland title to Tralee’s Hugh Harris was also pulled after Harris injured himself in training.

However the kickboxing community came up trumphs to ensure the evening staged 11 fights, including three IKF All Ireland titles.

The main event featured Gort man Eric Daly, who fights out of the Galway Black Dragon Kickboxing Club, taking on tough Thai Boxer Cian Cowley from Dublin in a K-1 rules contest over three by three minute rounds.

Although the fight was originally set at 64 kilos, both camps agreed to proceed after Daly came in just over at 64.1kg and Cowley tipped the scales at 65.7kg.

The taller Cowley was superior with his knee strikes, but Daly dug deep to ensure the fight went the distance. The judges were split, with one for Cowley, one for Daly, and one who sat on the fence which resulted in a draw. This forced both contestants to fight another round and this time Daly sealed the deal with all three judges giving the Galway man the nod.

A second All Ireland title saw Galway’s James Ward take on Dubliner Sean Murtagh for the IKF junior light heavyweight crown. Ward easily won the first round and midway through the second round Ward landed a front kick to Murtagh’s face forcing the referee to stop the fight giving Ward victory by TKO and the coveted IKF All Ireland title.

Also in action were Kilkenny’s Connor Doyle taking on David Ryan from Shannon for an IKF Junior All Ireland title and this was a fast-paced contest which went the distance with Doyle winning by judges’ decision.

In other fights Philip Delaney from Galway Black Dragon Gym stopped Dublin’s Ross Vorolha by TKO in round two, while Valerie Hamilton from the home camp stopped Dublin’s Shauna Kinsella with a roundhouse kick to the face in the third round to win by TKO. Galway’s Feidhlim Dunne also won by TKO over Wexford man Eoghan Ffrench. Galway’s Clodagh Foley, in her first fight back after an absence of almost five years, prevailed over Waterford’s Chloe O' Brien by judges’ decision.

Martin Murray lost a close points decision to Kilkenny’s Troy Holohan in one of the best fights of the night, while Ezra Nolan was narrowly defeated by Noel Tierney from Cookstown.

Bryan Merrigan suffered a points defeat to Donegal’s Darryl Orr and Jennifer Baranyai lost by split decision to Kilkenny’s Ann Marie Bergin who retained her IKF All Ireland title after five hard rounds.

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