It was a big result for the Limerick man, last year’s 178-pound open losing finalist. Because of several late no-shows on the first night of action in the division, O’Regan, a 30-year-old Yonkers carpenter representing the Bronx’s John’s Gym, will likely receive a bye to the semi-finals, putting him one win away from next month’s finals at Madison Square Garden.
His victory over Smith before some 800 fans, including former heavyweight contender Gerry Cooney, in the jam-packed Farrell H.S. gym highlighted a successful two nights for Irish fighters in America’s biggest and most prestigious amateur boxing competition.
County Waterford’s Tomas Maher, a talented 152-pound novice, impressed the Staten Island crowd with a second round stoppage of Isaac Davila, while the following night in the Bronx, Tyrone native Davey Kelly won via disqualification against Eduardo Sierra. There was also a points victory for Queens resident Robert Rucker — from Eddie McLoughlin’s Irish Ropes Gym — over Jarell Warren in the 132-pound novice class.
Only O’Regan’s John’s Gym stablemate Ronan Fagan came up short. The 165-pound novice entrant from Westmeath was halted in three rounds by Gleason’s Darren Barker.
O’Regan-Smith II was pretty much a replay of their four-round scrap at St. Catherine’s Church in Franklin Square, Long Island, last March. The Irishman outworked and outlasted his New Bed-Stuy BC foe who once again faded down the stretch.
Content as he was with his performance, O’Regan, who pounded out a 5-0 decision, admitted that he could have done better.
“I was overloading,” he conceded. “I hurt him at the end of the second and third rounds and I was trying to finish him off.”
Said trainer Edwin Martinez: “Don had no punching room. He was too close to Smith.”
At any rate, O’Regan’s victory kept him on course for the finals, if not a rematch with defending Gloves and U.S. national champion Will Rosinsky, also a winner at Farrell H.S.
The 21-year-old, whose great grandmother hailed from County Clare, was made to work for his 5-0 decision over David Johnson.
For a man who’s only been boxing for 18 months, Tomas Maher is a natural in the ring. Showing good hand and foot speed, and one of the better jabs on the night, the novice came away from Staten Island with his second win in the 152-pound novice class when Morris Park’s Isaac Davila could not continue in the second round.
After dominating the first round, Maher put his man down with a rapid one-two at the start of the second.
Davila beat the count and in an exchange moments later separated his right shoulder when he swung at the elusive Maher and missed. He threshed around the canvas, screaming in pain as Dr. Osric King and a medic popped his arm back in the socket. It went down as a second round RSC (referee stopped contest).
“I was just starting to warm up,” said Maher, a well-toned 25-year-old whose athletic background includes hurling and Gaelic football.
“We’re on the right track,” his trainer Mickey Tohill, the former nine-time All Ireland featherweight titlist and 1972 Munich Olympian, said.
Maher, a points winner over Orrett Scafe in the first round last month, returns to Farrell H.S. (2900 Amboy Road) for the pre-quarterfinal round next Tuesday (March 7).
Davey Killer, probably the biggest puncher of all the Irish fighters in the Gloves, was in control against Eduardo Sierra in their 167-pound novice class match when the latter was disqualified for excessive holding at the Webster PAL in the Bronx.
“The guy knew I had power so kept holding,” the six-foot-two carpenter said. “I’d have dropped him in the third.”
Referee Robin Taylor twice docked Sierra points in the third stanza for holding before disqualifying him one minute and 43 seconds into the round.
Kelly, who’s 23, dispatched Mohamed Habib in one round on his debut last month. He improved to 6-0 (4 KOs) as an amateur after Friday night’s victory.
Ronan Fagan faded badly against Daniel Barker after a promising first round, taking a lot of punishment before referee Steve Willis stopped the contest at a minute and 13 seconds of the third round.
Asked what went wrong, the 26-year-old said: “I don’t know. He just caught me. There’s always next time.”
Fagan won his first bout in the Gloves via a second round KO over James Dale last month.
Oisin Fagan’s Oklahoma State lightweight title defense last Saturday was scuttled at the last minute. Instead, the Dubliner, nicknamed the “Gael Force,” beat up on Donald Cairns for the second time in three weeks to improve to 12-3 (7 KOs).
Fagan, who went four rounds with Cairns on February 4, needed just three rounds to flatten the winless Arkansas pug who fell to 0-3.
“I fought according to plan,” he said. “I wanted to show the fans that I’m not just a tough nut brawler, but a classy boxer.”
Fagan is scheduled to meet Tomandre King at the Indian Center in Wichita, Kansas, this weekend in an eight-round bout that could put him in line for Peter McDonagh’s Irish lightweight crown.