GILFORD, NH- It was an explosive night of fights as Murphys Boxing teamed up with the Dropkick Murphys to put on the first ever Dropkick Murphys Irish Festival in Gilford, NH. A thrilling day of fights and music had the 7,000 in attendance roaring in excitement throughout the day long festival.
Gary “Spike” O’ Sullivan (23-2 15KOs) made his return to the states in the main event of a seven-bout card hosted by Murphys Boxing. Spike immediately made an explosive entrance, walking out to a new unknown song by the Dropkick Murphys. Spike squared off against Costa Rican brute Jaime Barboza, in a match that went the full distance. Barboza, fighting for the first time in the states, didn’t give in to Spikes constant power, making the Irishman work for the victory. Spike dropped Barboza in the 7th round and looked close to putting the Costa Rican away, but Barboza was able to finish the fight on his feet. Sporting old-time fighting breaches, and a handlebar mustache in honor of his descendant John L. Sullvan, Spike gave the crowd exactly what they wanted, and proved that he was ready to step back into major fights after a ten-month hiatus.
Hometown hero Mark DeLuca continues to prove he is a rising Jr Middleweight, with an impressive bout that also went the full 8 rounds against tough North Carolina native Matthew Strode. DeLuca impressed the crowd with his slick defense, and nonstop onslaught of powerful punches. DeLuca dropped Strode twice in the 4th round, with two separate picture perfect right hands, but the game Strode climbed off the canvas both times and continued to fight, making it through the last 4 rounds. With the win DeLuca remains undefeated at 16-0 with 10KOs. DeLuca continues to impress and figures to step into the national boxing scene in short time.
Carlos “The Dragon” Candelario (8-1 5KOs) thrilled the audience with an incredibly exciting first round in a bout against Michael Clark. Both men had impressive moments and stood their ground with Clark going down once and Carlos being hurt, but both men continued going toe to toe for the full 3 minutes. In a bout that looked to be a war, ended in the second round, as Clark landed a right high on Candelario’s head and immediately turned to the ref clutching his right hand. After not be able to continue with was believed to be a fractured wrist, the match was called, with Carlos, gaining the TKO win.
Steve “The Wolf” Collins Jr remains unbeaten with a magnificent second round knockout against Maine’s Christiano Pedro. Collins proved he was ready for war as soon as the bell rang, eventually landing a clean counter right on the chin, sending Pedro to his knees, and immediately finished him off with an impressive left hook, proving that Stevie has got some of his father's, former World Supermiddleweight champion Steve Collins, blood running through him.
Matt Probin evens up his record with a 4 round split decision against Massachusetts native Anthony Everett. Both fighters fought hard in a give and take, earning themselves a standing ovation from the crowd, and certainly each other’s respect.
Frederic Julian earned an impressive victory, with an impressive first round knockout over journeyman Ralph Johnson. Julian is a former New York Golden Gloves Champion, and the third of Team Bakinde’s fighters to appear on a Murphys Boxing show.
Murphys Boxing will return with another spectacular night of boxing on October 15TH at Melrose Memorial Hall in Melrose Ma. Tickets go on sale Tuesday September 20th on murphysboxing.com. The night will feature explosive bouts with TJ Dohney, Stevie Collins Jr, and Niall Kennedy, plus many more.