Ryan Burnett puts injury agony behind him with easy win
Ryan Burnett got back to winning ways at the Ulster Hall last night as a body shot after two minutes of the sixth round accounted for a very game Jelbirt Gomera.
Having lost his WBA bantamweight title to Nonito Donaire due to a freak injury in Glasgow back in November, this was the north Belfast man's first foray in the super-bantamweight division and he enjoyed a winning start after a highly entertaining contest.
"It is good to be back," he said.
"I recovered quick from the injury so I just got back into the gym. I got the win, so it's time to put the head down and get serious."
Burnett looked excellent in the opening rounds, clearly hurting the Filipino several times, but Gomera was game and enjoyed a great start to the second.
Burnett, watched at ringside by Donaire, backed into the corner and waved his foe on before countering and finishing strong. Burnett was warned twice for low blows that appeared borderline.
The action continued apace in the third as both men looked happy to trade shots with Burnett just doing the cleaner work, while he opened the fourth with a beauty of a right to the temple of Gomera, waving the Filipino in but again was warned for a low shot.
Gomera looked riled at Burnett's antics in the fifth as he charged forward, but the north Belfast man was much more patient and while he was docked a point in the sixth for another low blow that again looked borderline, it was a clipping right to the body after two minutes of the round that forced Gomera's oil light to finally flick to zero as he turned his back and winced, signalling that enough was enough.
"That's the longest I have been out as an amateur or a pro in my career, so it was great to be back," he added.
"I could have made bantamweight comfortably, but I'm testing myself up at super-bantam and we'll see what my team wants next for me."
Lewis Crocker improved to 8-0 with a 60-55 points win over the game Jumanne Camero.
'The Croc' landed some heavy artillery throughout and it was hard to see where the even round came from. Camero was certainly durable although seemed in distress in the sixth, but claimed a moral victory by seeing the final bell.
"It's been nine months since my last fight and that guy has had four in that time, beating a 9-0 prospect, but you could see after the first round he wasn't there to win anymore," said the Sandy Row man after.
"The rounds helped me big time and I'll be back out on June 21 here (Ulster Hall) so hopefully I have someone then of a higher class again."
Steven Donnelly scored an excellent fourth round stoppage over Edwin Palacios in their middleweight contest.
The visitor was perhaps a little overconfident that Donnelly was unable to hurt him by waving him in during the third, but was made to pay in the next frame as Donnelly landed a 'Canelo-esque' left to the body that had Palacios down and out after the first minute of the round.
Sean Duffy enjoyed a fine start to life as a pro with a second round stoppage win over Antonio Horvatic who was down twice in the second round before referee, Eamonn Magill waved the action off 47 second in.
Callum Bradley was also celebrating with a routine 40-36 points win over Rafael Castillo at light-middleweight, while Padraig McCrory impressed in a 60-54 points win over Eric Nwankwo at light-heavyweight.