Former world challenger Paddy Barnes took a step towards banishing the ghosts of his American loss by bouncing back with a six-round points win on the Falls Park undercard. “The Leprechaun” could not afford another off night, so a laceration to the right eye early in the first did not represent an ideal start.
Game Nicaraguan (based in Spain) Joel Sanchez was the perfect foil for a comeback foe. Not strong enough to cause any upsets, while being fit enough to compete, Sanchez threw plenty of leather without finding a chink in the armour. Paul McCullagh scored it 60-55 in favour of Barnes who closed out the last rounds stronger. Every win pushes away the demons of two back-to-back losses for Paddy who was pleased with the six rounds and hopes to be boxing again in October.
Alfredo Meli defeated fellow-unbeaten Araik Marutjan 77-76 on Paul McCullagh’s scorecard. Meli was dropped in the fifth by a straight right hand. Alfredo is a high tempo southpaw who outworks opponents, without having the big punch to finish them off. Marutjan refused to stop working from the first bell to last, before falling to 8-1. Meli should soon be in the mix for a British or Commonwealth title shot.
Heavyweight hope Damien Sullivan was upset in the first by unheralded Mateusz Kubiszyn. Sullivan found himself immediately dragged into a war, and was backed on to the ropes. The visitor unloaded with hooks from both hands, enough to drop the Belfast man. Referee Eamonn Magill doled out a count but stunned Sullivan was unable to defend himself and was stopped by more Kubisyan firepower shortly after.
Sean Gerard Duffy made it two wins out of two with a 40-36 success over ubiquitous survivor Naheem Chaudhry.
Callum Bradley improved to 3-0 with a 40-37 victory over Jose Hernandez.