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McCloskey shocked by Corley

DeMarcus Corley Paul McCloskeyBy Collie Moore: DeMarcus Corley defied bookmakers odds to beat Paul McCloskey in Belfast on Saturday night in a strange and somewhat controversial stoppage. The veteran looked dangerous throughout and McCloskey was badly wobbled towards the end of the 10th round by a crisp right hand which prompted referee Ian John Lewis to jump between fighters.

After examining the Dungiven man and seemingly left with little choice after dividing the pair, he called a halt to the bout. Although McCloskey didn’t touch the canvas in the fight and may feel aggrieved that he didn’t get the opportunity to see the round out, he was clearly hurt and the referee did what he felt was best for McCloskey’s health.

McCloskey was ahead on scorecards at the time of the stoppage due to work-rate and some nice single shots, but Corley was able to tag his opponent quite regularly and got off to the better start. McCloskey suffered a broken nose which continued to bleed throughout the fight, although replays suggest it may have been a forearm that caused the unsightly injury. Corley forced McCloskey onto his heals at the end of the third round and his right hook was finding the target as McCloskey kept his hands low.

The Irishman upped the work-rate into the second half of the fight as he has done in the past and had success with well-placed body shots. However, warning signs remained as McCloskey stubbornly kept his hands low and was caught too often and finally to his detriment in the 10th.

It will be a difficult loss for McCloskey to overcome, something he acknowledged in a refreshingly honest interview to Sky Sports afterwards: ‘He caught me with a great shot. I thought I could have carried on but every fighter thinks he can fight on, so I’m gutted. It’s a massive, massive setback for me.’ He showed determination and heart to work his way back into the fight and landed some accurate shots. However, his slow-starting and reluctance to block punches as evidenced in this fight signal the difficulties he has in making the step up to World-Class level.

Corley proved wily and dangerous throughout and may yet get another opportunity to fight for a world-title. Many of his losses are against the highest of opposition, and he retains the power which seen him rock the likes of Mayweather and Cotto.

Also on the card, Eamonn O’Kane took the Irish middleweight Prizefighter crown in what was a messy final against JJ McDonagh.

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