Ronnie Heffron made to labour in eight round edging of Peter McDonagh

1 Nov

Alan Dawson – London

Following a four month layoff, Ronnie Heffron of ‘Arnie’s’ (Anthony Farnell’s gym in Failsworth) was given a tough welterweight workout on Thursday, November 1 at the hallowed small hall York Hall venue in Bethnal Green, London as Peter McDonagh demonstrated a durable chin, steady jab and was not put off his stride by Heffron’s undeniably strong body-punching ability. In an eight round fight, Heffron won by just a single point.

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Dawson’s scorecard

Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
McDonagh
9 10 9 9 10 10 9 10

Heffron
10 9 10
10 10 9 10 9

Official verdict: Heffron wins referee’s decision by a 77-76 margin.

“I couldn’t get my shots right, couldn’t get going,” said the triumphant Heffron to Box Nation following the official announcement of his slim victory, however, he showed defiance at the one point margin: “I thought the seventh may have been level [but not sure about that scoring].”

Competing with the flags of Ireland and Britain on his trunks, Ronnie ‘Razor’ Heffron began boxing in trademark fashion by pumping sharp left hooks to McDonagh’s midsection. Favouring a fight at close range, Heffron threw well with both mitts and landed uppercuts. The first was a good round for the undefeated prospect, yet McDonagh did enough on the inside to keep Ronnie honest.

McDonagh proved a game candidate for opposition as he landed a peach of a hook on Heffron’s jaw during the beginning of round two. Despite all his thunder, heavy-handed Heffron was not as active as he was in the first and instead looked to load up on power shots yet, in between his sporadic bombing, McDonagh produced sterling work, particularly with his lead shot and hook punch.

Heffron fought more effectively in the third stanza, forcing McDonagh onto the back-foot and beating him into neutral corners and against the ropes. Heffron, though, was warned mid-round for repeated punching below the belt-line. In the fourth, Heffron’s power shots were landed with greater aplomb largely because they were opened up with jabbing. For all the praise Heffron receives over his left hook, it is a far greater weapon when attached to the lead jab, rather than when he plants his feet at point blank and waits for an opportunistic bombardment.

Likened to British great Ricky Hatton due to his body punching ability, his action style and the way he howls every time he swings a gloved fist, Heffron’s defence was also leaky (notably from a lack of head movement and walking into shots, something that was Hatton’s downfall against Floyd Mayweather five years ago).

When Heffron was closing the gap, McDonagh found ways to plant fists onto Heffron’s mush but what really separated promising prospect from domestic-level journeyman was power. McDonagh just did not have enough to perturb Heffron whilst the 22-year-old from Oldham had the right amount to back Peter around the ring and onto the ropes.

McDonagh’s work became scrappier as the concluding chapters approached and Heffron caught McDonagh with an almighty hook at the start of the eighth. In a true see-saw climax, Heffron’s legs wobbled as McDonagh pummeled powerful punches into Ronnie’s cheeks and temples. With what should be a close fight on the cards, both combatants required a strong final round, which should go to McDonagh, who arguably landed the punch of the night with that extraordinary left hand.

Speaking about Heffron, trainer Farnell proclaimed Ronnie ready for greater challenges but wants his charge to take a few more learning fights before making a push for the British welterweight title: “We just need a few more learning fights like that one,” he said. “He’s still a young lad. I think Ronnie would beat Frankie Gavin right now but once we get to that Championship level, we want to stay there, so just a few more learning fights and we’ll be there.”

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One Response to “Ronnie Heffron made to labour in eight round edging of Peter McDonagh”

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  1. 2011-2012 News Archive « On The Beak - January 17, 2013

    […] Ronnie Heffron made to labour in eight round edging of Peter McDonagh […]

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