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Sunday, 21 September 2014

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‘It couldn’t have gone any better’ – Barrow boxer Liam Conroy

LIAM Conroy was delighted and his coach Jeff Moses a proud man after the Barrow Amateur Boxing Club fighter produced a knockout display on his professional debut.

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MEN IN BLACK: Liam Conroy celebrates his pro debut victory over Danny Brown with his coach Jeff Moses and corner man, Damian Jones of Astley Boxing Club, who helped out on the night while Moses awaits his pro licence from the Boxing Board of Control.

The 19-year-old middleweight stopped tricky Essex opponent Danny Brown in the fourth and final round at Coldwell Boxing’s Viva La Vicious show at Bolton’s Reebok Centre on Friday night.

Backed by a large, vocal travelling support, Conroy dominated from the first bell against an experienced boxer – surprising himself, as well as many onlookers, at how well things had gone in his first appearance on the pro circuit.

“It was amazing. I never thought I would stop him, so it’s brilliant. It couldn’t have started better than that, could it?” a beaming Conroy said after the fight.

“When they were announcing my name and everyone was shouting, I just thought ‘Right, just calm down, don’t go too gung-ho, just take your time’.”

And Moses was pleased with the way Conroy showed maturity beyond his years by not getting carried away by the occasion, and sticking to his game plan.

“He did what he was told. He was nice and calm, nice and relaxed. He didn’t rush in, he didn’t get drawn in by the crowd firing him up. He picked his shots and he listened to us,” said the Barrow ABC head coach.

“Normally he would react – someone’s hit me, bang, let’s have him back, but he picked his shots. He realised he had four rounds to work at and he upped the pace at the right moment.

“He dominated from start to finish. He didn’t look like someone who was making his debut against someone who had been in there 10/12 times.

“I’m over the moon for him. He’s worked hard and it’s paid off. All the crowd were behind him and he’s put it together. His dream has come true in his debut bout.

“He knocked him down with a body shot, which he specialises in, and finished him off – brilliant.”

Although Brown’s record going into the fight – three wins and a draw from 11 fights – is far from exceptional, the southpaw has fought some strong opponents, is a gutsy competitor and he usually stays on his feet.

That made Conroy’s knockdown all the more satisfying, with the BAE Systems mechanical fitter saying: “He’s hardly been stopped and he’s been in with some good kids.

“He fought Hosea Burton, who was on before me tonight and is about a stone heavier than me, and has won a couple of ABA titles in the amateurs, and he went the distance with him, so that’s a good sign.

“He was a bit awkward to box. A couple of things slowed me down.

“I’m used to having a head guard on so it was a bit weird when we were banging heads and he kept bobbing down dead low and making me miss. I just had to keep calm and not get too stressed out about it.”

Conroy made a point of going to see the jubilant Furness contingent immediately after the bout to thank them for their support, and he said: “I totally appreciate everyone who came down to watch me, every single person. It made a big difference.”

The boxer’s family were part of the travelling army and his auntie, Debbie Conroy, said: “We’re all dead proud of Liam. We’ve known since he was about 15 he was going to be a superstar.

“I was really nervous during the fight. I was watching through my hands and my mam could hardly look, but he did really well and we’re all very happy now.

“They are all brave lads who get in the ring and it’s a shame any of them have to lose, but we’re just so pleased that Liam won.”

 

 

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