Seattle-born and Wicklow-raised Martin O’Malley was in fine form Friday night. The fighter dispatched John Scalzi of Altoona, Pa., in the first round of their junior welterweight bout at Yonkers Raceway. The knockout, O’Malley’s 13th in 14 professional victories without a loss, stamps him as one of the most promising and exciting young fighters in the U.S. today.
But O’Malley’s wasn’t the only knockout scored Friday night. Rockall Promotions, the brainchild of Martin Somers and Eddie McLoughlin, also emerged a convincing winner, reviving for boxing fans the late lamented Friday night fights of decades past. Rockall’s show featured a compelling card packed with Irish fighters. Among them were John Lowey, the Belfast-based former IBO super bantamweight champ, who survived an early knockdown to win a tough decision over Marik McKay, and Galway native Colm Keane, who, with the legendary trainer Lou Duva in his corner, knocked out Brooklyn’s Kurt Shaka in the first round.
It’s a credit to Rockall that it was able to answer the bell at all. Its original plan was to hold the event outdoors at Gaelic Park, which would have made in the first professional outdoor fight card since Ali-Norton at Yankee Stadium in 1976. When Gaelic Park pulled out, Rockall was fortunate the land Yonkers Raceway.
Rockall’s next show is planned for Friday, Aug. 18, at the Elk’s Club in Queens. No better tonic for a hot August night.