Barrow fighter Liam Conroy wins English title
BARROW’S Liam Conroy is the new English light-heavyweight professional boxing champion.
Conroy stopped reigning champion Joel McIntyre in the second round of their British title eliminator at Bethnal Green’s famous York Hall venue.
Despite being the challenger and the underdog, Conroy dominated against an opponent who had won 16 of his previous 17 bouts.
Conroy caught McIntyre clean with a big right hand halfway through the first round, a shot which sent the defending champion to the canvas.
The Portsmouth man survived the count before Conroy went in for the kill with shouts of “finish him, finish him” ringing out from the travelling Barrow contingent.
The 25-year-old BAE Systems employee forced another standing count on an opponent who was clearly hurt, and it appeared only the bell saved McIntyre from a first-round knockout.
It did not take long for Conroy to finish the job though, as McIntyre could not handle another prolonged assault and the referee stepped in to stop further punishment.
Cheers rang out from the vociferous Furness contingent to celebrate victory for Conroy – who has resurrected his boxing career with seven consecutive wins and now the English title.
A delighted Conroy took to social media after the fight, saying: "Mission accomplished. Words can't describe how I'm feeling. Against all the odds and the experts who said it wouldn't be done."
Conroy's dad Dave, who was ringside with trainer Johnney Roye, posted a picture from the official fight night programme with quotes from a panel of experts - including reigning British light-heavyweight champion Frank Buglioni - plus four boxing fans, all writing off the Barrow man's chances.
"Nobody gave us a chance," he posted on Facebook. "But the belt's coming home with us anyway. There's only one Liam Conroy."
Huge credit must go to Conroy's Preston-based trainer Roye and the MTK Manchester team, and also to Barrow ABC head coach Jeff Moses and everyone at the Brook Street gym, where his boxing journey began.