Cyclone junior roars to glory
Published 25/04/2008 | 09:26
Shane and Barry McGuigan embraced after an enthralling, atmospheric father and son triumph last night.
As the seconds ticked away in the final round Barry, as if watching himself 30 years ago when he won his first senior title, screamed: "The body son, hit the body son, the body".
Shane didn't just hit the body he finished this barnstorming welterweight decider with three rasping right hands to the chin of southpaw Cathal McCauley.
McGuigan and son had got the job done.
Shane will forever be compared to his former world champion dad but on this night he made his own mark.
"I love fighting here, the atmosphere was amazing and you know if I can achieve an eighth of what my dad did I'll be happy," said Shane, who was boxing for Clones.
Barry McGuigan celebrates with son Shane after his success over Cathal McCauley in the welterweight final
The 26-14 victory received a mixed reception in the Andersonstown Leisure Centre with many boos echoing from the stands but on my card McGuigan was the winner as he took charge at the midway point.
Certainly it was a surprise to learn that McCauley was 5-1 down after the first round as it wouldn't have been a surprise if the scores had been reversed.
Cyclone junior was walking on to McCauley's right lead and falling short with his right hand but the judges had him ahead and 9-7 in front going into the third.
The seeds for him taking a grip on the contest were sown at the end of the second round as he found the range with one particular right hand.
In the third round his relentless pressure started to tell, using his left hook to good effect as McCauley stood toe-to-toe rather than circling the ring as he had in the previous two rounds.
The Dungloe man would later say that he felt he had no option but to switch tactics.
Bitter at the judges verdict, McCauley fumed: "They gave it to him because he's Barry McGuigan's son.
"I couldn't believe the scoring. How was I not ahead after the first round. When I saw the score I thought they had got the blue and the red mixed up.
"When I saw the score at the end of the second round and that I was behind I decided to go for the knockout because they weren't scoring for me.
"But I'll be back, I won't let that turn me off - I've been away too long."
McGuigan was ahead 16-9 going into the final two minutes which were compelling viewing as they stood at close quarters and let the leather fly.
McGuigan could have made it easier for himself by using his left lead - a solid punch he regularly fails to make the most of.
"He's got a fighter's instinct and he just kept coming and coming and I'm so proud of him," said Barry.
When the dust settles father and son will weigh up how he has to polish up the rough edges but equally all must consider just how a big achievement this was for a young man having only his 17th contest.
A new McGuigan era has begun.
Meanwhile, Oliver Plunkett's Tommy McCarthy produced a power-packed performance to claim the light-heavyweight title.
McCarthy, winner of the Ulster intermediate title last year, stepped up for his first senior bid and after a nervous start gave us a glimpse of his great potential.
Abbey's Paul Moffett was floored twice in the second round and at the start of the third McCarthy jumped on him and a barrage of hooks brought the end as his opponent stumbled to the canvas.
Eamonn O'Kane easily claimed his sixth consecutive middleweight title with a 21-15 decision over Martin Lynch of Illies.
The Dungiven man was never in any trouble as he maintained his relentless pressure right to the end.
Holy Trinity's Anthony Cacace retained the lightweight title with a 12-9 verdict over Stephen Donnelly of All Saints.
Sacred Heart, Newry's Patrick Murphy claimed his first Ulster senior title when he won a scrappy encounter with Patrick Gallagher of Gleann at light-welterweight.
Enniskillen's Shane Curran scooped the heavyweight title with a 12-8 decision over John Paul Reah of St John Bosco.
Curran had trailed 7-4 after two rounds but went 9-8 ahead after the third.