Light heavyweight Seanie Monaghan (12-0, 8 KOs) and heavyweight Tom Hardwick (4-0, 2 KOs) both recorded wins on the Broadway Boxing Card at the Roseland Ballroom in Midtown Manhattan on Saturday night, while light welterweight Danny McDermott (9-3-2, 3 KOs) fought to a draw.
Monaghan was involved in the brawl of the night against the tough and unrelenting Billy Bailey (11-14), a throwback brawler who promoter Lou DiBella called a "man’s man." No matter how much Monaghan hit the Bakersfield, California, native, he kept coming back for more.
Monaghan picked up a graze over his left eye in the second round from a head butt that bled throughout the fight but that did not require stitches afterwards.
The 30-year-old dropped his opponent at the end of the stanza with a thundering right, but Bailey survived the round despite a huge onslaught from the Long Islander, who was roared on by a huge army of fans.
Bailey was a little soft in the mid-section and was vulnerable to body shots throughout the fight, but he showed a powerful chin to absorb huge punishment and he still had time to goad both Monaghan and the crowd with “shaky legs” and other old school tricks.
Monaghan stayed composed throughout and boxed beautifully, working Bailey’s body, getting off precise combinations and peppering his opponent with accurate shots. At the end of the fight the judges gave him a unanimous decision by the scores of 79-72, 80-71, 80-71.
“I knew I was the better boxer. The only thing we were worried about was his experience,” Monaghan told the Irish Voice on Sunday.
“Everything got so intense. I think the excitement of the crowd got to both of us and we went for it.”
Monaghan was wary of his opponent throughout as he kept leading with his head, pushing and trying to unsettle him, but he was not going to wilt on this night.
“I was in the zone and I was focused,” he said, confirming that apart from the black eye and the graze that he would be fit and raring to go again on March 17 at Madison Square Garden.
Davy Monaghan was also in attendance and was happy with his son's performance.
"Seanie did grand. He was hardy and he kept his game plan together. He never looked under pressure," he said after the fight.
Earlier on the undercard, heavyweight Hardwick (4-0, 2 KOs) notched up his fourth win as a professional when he earned a unanimous decision over Richard Mason (0-4). Hardwick dominated the fight throughout, imposing himself on his opponent from Long Island and getting off a few good combinations.
The Dubliner’s worst moment of the fight came early in the second round when he seemed to go over on his right ankle. Hardwick struggled to bear weight on the leg for about a minute, which buoyed Mason into more exchanges, but the Irishman soon walked it off and re-established the upper hand in the fight. All three judges scored the fight 40-36 in Hardwick’s favor.
The fight was the 27-year-old's first with new trainer Matthew “Sykes” Olszewski in his corner, and he was delighted with how the two worked together.
“I absolutely loved it,” Hardwick told the Irish Voice. "I went into the fight with a game plan. I am trying to judge my punches more, and though I didn’t always execute it, it was a step in the right direction.”
Though his ankle is swollen and bruised, Hardwick plans to get back to training sooner rather than later as he too will be in action on March 17 on the Sergio Martinez/Matthew Macklin undercard.
Finally, welterweight McDermott fought to a draw with Terry Buterbaugh (6-6, 3 KOs) in a six–round contest. Buterbaugh was the more active fighter in the first round and though he never landed any huge blows, he was outworking McDermott.
“Little Mac” seemed tentative throughout the fight, but in the second he was more the aggressor and got some decent combinations off. However, he did not capitalize on that momentum in the mid-section of the fight and allowed Buterbaugh to take over again.
McDermott sensed the urgency of his situation in the last round and made a Herculean effort to stop Buterbaugh but came up short. One judge scored it 59-55 for Buterbaugh, and another had it 59-55 McDermott. The third judge scored it even, 57-57, so the contest ended in a draw. Promoter Lou DiBella said on his Twitter account shortly after the fight that the two would rematch at the Garden on March 17.