Over the weekend WIT Arena welcomed the first professional boxing event to be held in Waterford since the 1940s, were an enthusiastic attendance of 1,500 were treated to eight action packed bouts.
The third Ring Kings pro show of the year saw Keane McMahon and JohnJoyce both from Dublin win their contests on points. Graham McCormack-O’Shea from Limerick thrilled his supporters by defeating the Hungarian Jozsef Takas over four rounds. Top class Dubliner Eric Donovan who is coached by Kenny Egan stopped Ignac Kassai early in round two and Mike ‘The Rebel’ Perez knocked out his opponent Pablo Matias with a fierce right hook inside 30 seconds.
With the home crowd advantage, the three Waterford professional fighters brought the crowd to their feet with brilliant performances. The audience clearly enjoyed the atmosphere the night offered and were able to watch the spectacle on big screens surrounding the ring. With the concert style lighting and ring walks of a pay-per-view quality it was an event worthy of being aired on national networks.
Boxer Rohan Date required only 26 seconds to dispatch his South African opponent Jade Karam. While Barry Barnes, who was making his professional debut, won a thrilling four round contest by the minimum margin of 38 to 37 against Przemyslay of Poland. Craig McCarthy who topped the bill also won his fight by a point as he got the better of Teodor Lozanov 58 to 57 in a bruising six round contest.
During the night WLR Sports Broadcaster, Matt Keane, made a special presentation on behalf of the promoters Ring Kings to two Waterford men who have devoted their life to boxing Paul Simpson and Seamus Cowman. Both received a standing ovation.
With such a successful show under the Arena's belt, it can be sure it won’t take another 70 years for pro boxing to return to the South East.