Belfast Telegraph

Gary Hamilton facing final countdown

By David Kelly

Gary Hamilton's future in the ring is in limbo after he failed to land another World title on Saturday night at the Ulster Hall.

Hamilton, a former featherweight kick-boxing champion, was boxing for the K1 Thai style World light-welterweight title and simply found the skills of champion Daniel Zahra too hot to handle before a sold-out arena with coach and promoter Billy Murray pulling him out during the fourth round.

Hamilton (33) looked to unload his kicks and punches on his Malta rival but was caught in the second round with a flying knee to the head which sent him to the canvas for an eight count.

The third round was his best and he did manage to land two sharp right hands which jolted the champion but Zahra did more damage with his knee in the fourth and as Belfast man Hamilton tried to cover up he walked into a hail of blows, leading Murray to throw in the towel.

Murray said: "I have spoken to Gary and he's not sure what he wants to do next. I was never happy with him fighting in this style because he is not used to it but it is something that most kick-boxers always want to try – they want the challenge of the K1.

"I have no doubt that Gary can be a world champion kick-boxer again but it's up to him and he would need to be more active. He has been away from the ring for quite a bit and the ring rust showed as well.

"He put up a brave fight and I can see that he still has the potential to be a champion."

The Pro-kick team did have plenty to celebrate with Ursula Agnew winning her second WKN World amateur title after five tough rounds.

Agnew, who was handed a unanimous decision over Italian Marzia Vadala in their lightweight battle, gave her opponent two standing counts on the way to victory.

Murray added: "I am very pleased with how Ursula performed. She punched really, they really came to the fore. The Italian was very tough but I thought Ursula always had the edge."

Johnny Smith of Bangor won the WKN Amateur super-welterweight international title with a second round stoppage of Belgium's Nunzio Zambataro, while Samantha Robb won her amateur European light-welterweight title fight with Poland's Emilia Czerwinska who retired at the end of the third round.

Belfast Telegraph

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