Ulster Hall. In a battle of Britain and Ireland's finest
welterweights, Larne-born Wilson Snoddy shocked expectations
with the grand final win over Douglas Morrison of Scotland.
Morrison, a Scottish, British and European champion, was
fancied to walk away with the unique title and a cheque for
£1,000 after silencing the Ulster Hall with a bone-shattering
defeat of favourite Gary Noade.
Noade, who had disposed of Scot Steve Kitchener with a stomach
churning body punch in their quarter-final showdown, suffered
his worst career set-back to an opponent he had previously
defeated to become world champion.
It was a sharp and sudden first round exit that ended Noade's
Morrison caught the Downpatrick man with a swinging right
foot kick to the head and before the dazed Noade reached the
canvas, his opponent followed up with a thumping right hand.
"Gary was asking for a re-match right away but he didn't
even know he'd been counted out," said his coach Billy
"During a moment of concern for us all, Gary was asking
for another fight, that shows how much of a warrior he is."
Impressive Waterford fighter Willie Burke was defeated in
the semi-finals by the eventual champion but his coach Billy
O'Sullivan was encouraged:
"Willie is only 18 and was clearly one of the better
fighters on the card. I was very impressed by him and by the
show." Galway's Owen Flatley and Kilkenny's David Burke
both went out in the
quarter-finals, the latter suffering a stoppage loss. There
was further disappointment for the Irish when world featherweight
champion Gary Hamilton was disqualified for for an illegal
His opponent, Frenchman Ali Kanfouah, was floored by Hamilton's
swinging-back-fist but the champion's forearm caught his opponent's
cheekbone - resulting in a deep cut under his right eye.
Hamilton expects a re-match soon.
Galway's Chris Dowling defeated Belfast's James Gillen in
a tussle for the Irish heavyweight title.
Gillen appeared to be ahead on points before he was knocked
down in the final round, losing on points. Waterford's Pauline
Ward defeated Belfast's Lydia Braniff in the atomweight
division. "It was a great night of action with a great
atmosphere and while the results were surprising, they have
created a few interesting re-match proposals," added
Paddy Tolan's new breed of north-west fighters put up superb
performances against the best prospects from ProKick.
'It’s a gladiatorial
clash of the greats'.