Category: Archive

O’Malley suffers TKO in 9th round

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Jay Mwamba

Valiant Martin O’Malley went nine grueling rounds with former Romanian Olympian Leo "The Lion" Dorin at Bally’s Park Place in Atlantic City last Saturday before a TKO decision in their lightweight contest left him nursing his first professional loss.

O’Malley showed heart against the unrelenting Dorin, who negated his younger foe’s five-inch height advantage and longer reach with a buzzsaw-like attack, but lacked the power and strength hold off the 31-year-old Montreal-based Romanian.

Back in New York, a day after the match, which launched the Showtime cable network’s new "ShoBox" boxing series for young prospects, O’Malley’s advisor, Martin Somers, attributed his charge’s lack of power to the left bicep muscle he tore early in the fight.

"When he threw the left hook, he didn’t have the power to keep him [Dorin] off," Somers said. "He tore the left biceps in the third or fourth round."

Somers said a medical checkup after the bout had diagnosed the injury, as well as a hairline fracture in O’Malley’s left knuckle, which he dismissed as inconsequential. The fighter left the hospital with his arm in a sling.

Never miss an issue of The Irish Echo

Subscribe to one of our great value packages.

O’Malley, who was knocked down by a flurry of shots in the ninth round and left the ring with bruises above both eyes and a bloody nose, said his left arm, responsible for most of the 14 KOs on his hitherto 17-0 ledger, hurt, "but I kept throwing it.

"I was upset when they stopped," O’Malley said. "I thought that they should have given me the benefit of the doubt."

Said referee Tony Orlando: "Before the ninth, he was responding [with punches], but it was getting to be too one-sided. I just didn’t want to see him take any more punishment. One more round and he could have been hurt bad. You never know."

At any rate, O’Malley would have needed a knockout at that stage to pull out a win. He trailed badly on all three judges’ scorecards — George Colon (89-81), Al DeVito (88-81) and Joseph Pasquale (88-81).

The 26-year-old County Wicklow-reared prospect, cheered on by a sizable Irish contingent at Bally’s Park, had looked good in the early going, peppering Dorin with a stiff left jab and landing three-punch combinations.

Then a fight broke out in the second stanza when the compact Dorin, a 5-foot-4 fire hydrant, managed to rock O’Malley with a short right and vicious left hook.

O’Malley was flung into the ropes but fought back bravely. They traded big shots and when the bell ended, Dorin had been cut under the right eye.

The round set the tempo for the rest of the bout. Dorin, having taken O’Malley’s best shots, became the stalker and O’Malley the prey.

A bronze-medallist in the 1992 and 1996 Olympics, Dorin was unrelenting as he pressured his man around the ring. To his credit, O’Malley, took everything Dorin dished out and rallied back himself in the fifth round with digging uppercuts and left hooks that seemed to win him the round. Dorin, nonetheless, began to stamp his mark on the scheduled 10-round bout, after that as O’Malley’s power appeared to wane.

He mauled the young Irish-American on the ropes and in clinches, undaunted by the occasional spurts of resistance in the form of hooks, from O’Malley.

By the ninth round it was clear that O’Malley needed a KO to salvage a victory against a fighter who’d never been floored. However, it was Dorin who scored the only knock down of the match late in the round, tagging O’Malley with a flurry that left him on the canvas.

Bruised and battered, O’Malley easily beat the count, but referee Orlando had seen enough and waved it off at the end of the round.

O’Malley, predictably, protested the decision and said, "I thought they should have let it continue for one more round. I was fatigued, but I wasn’t hurt."

Dorin, who remained undefeated (18-0) after chalking up the seventh stoppage of his professional career, was hardly modest in victory.

"I was very good physically, I was very good technically. Martin O’Malley is a very good boxer and strong, but not strong enough for me," he remarked.

Somers dismissed notions that the Dorin fight had been too early a jump in class for O’Malley.

"If we were offered the fight again, we would take it," he said. "Not to take anything from Dorin — he’s a good pressure fighter. But Martin has more power than that."

O’Malley said he was physically OK but emotionally distraught by the defeat "But I’ve got to move on," he insisted, after his record dropped to 17-1 (14 KOs).

While the lightweight ruminates on his first loss, Somers talked of lining up a couple of eight rounders "to get him going again and then go looking for Dorin again. We’ll even fight him in Montreal, his own town."

O’Malley, born in Edmonds, Wash., but raised in Ireland, plans to returng to his family home in Seattle while his wounds heal before resuming training. He expects to be ready to fight again in October.

Other Articles You Might Like

Sign up to our Daily Newsletter

Click to access the login or register cheese