Belfast Telegraph

Sports Awards

McAleer is a knockout success

By Robert Jones

Belfast's Cathy McAleer hammered Polish champion Martyna Ciaskowska to win by knockout at the Stormont Hotel on an exciting kick-boxing bill promoted by Billy Murray.

Both girls bided their time in the opening round, Ciaskowska looking dangerous with her kicks, while the undeterred McAleer kept her cool to drive in body shots and knee strikes to the midsection.

McAleer stepped up the power and pressure to another level in the third round with Polish MMA star Ciaskowska feeling every shot.

McAleer landed one final combination of hands, feet and fury, and English referee Bob Hunter stepped in to stop the fight and hand McAleer her first professional win.

On the international card, Rowena Bolt faced two-time national kick-boxing champion Kerry Doyle from the Top-Pro Gym in Carlow for the WKN All-Ireland Championship 53kg division belt.

From the first bell, both ladies set out on the attack, Bolt forcing Doyle into the corner at the end of the second round and, after an onslaught of punches, the referee gave Doyle a standing count.

The third round began in similar fashion, this time a kick seeing Doyle caught in the ropes.

Referee Hunter stepped in to end the fight, much to Doyle's dismay, yet she showed the utmost respect to raise the new WKN Irish champion's hand.

The penultimate fight was between Polish fighter Patryn Klak and ProKick's adopted Iranian Salman Shariati.

They had met before in May 2017 in Zawiercie, Poland when Klak took a hard-fought victory.

Across three toughly contested rounds, both fighters showed great skill and resilience with Shariati leading with his body and head kicks, while Klak drilled in heavy low leg kicks.

The judges were unable to split the two warriors, with both hands raised in a draw.

But the action didn't end there for Shariati. His girlfriend Anna was called into the ring and, in perhaps his most nerve-wracking moment of the night, he got down on one knee and proposed. The crowd erupted in cheers and with no pressure, she said yes.

Belfast Telegraph

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