Seanie Monaghan (14-0, 9 KOs) won the first professional belt of his career when he beat Romaro Johnson (11-7-1, 6 KOs) by eighth round TKO to claim the WBC Continental Americas light heavyweight title at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City last Thursday night.
Monaghan, 30, looked in great shape as he entered the ring to the cheers of his fans, who once again came out in numbers to support him.
Awaiting him in the ring was the 37-year-old Johnson, who came into the fight on a four-fight losing streak.
The two men fought a close first round, with only a flurry of Monaghan body shots tipping the balance in his favor.
The fight soon developed into somewhat of a one-sided war, with Johnson giving his best but losing each stanza to the more active and accurate Monaghan.
After having some difficulty establishing enough distance to get his shots off, Monaghan found his range when he totally out-boxed Johnson in the fourth.
Every time Monaghan went to the body he slowed Johnson down. The fifth, sixth and seventh rounds were one-way traffic for Monaghan, who was wearing his opponent down progressively.
In the eighth round, a huge upper cut from Monaghan had Johnson in all kinds of trouble. The Long Island native pounced on his opponent, and after a plethora of shots the ringside doctor intervened to end the fight and save Johnson from further punishment.
“I was very happy to get the KO, but he was a tough guy,” Monaghan told the Irish Voice on Monday.
“I went into the fight with the wrong mindset. Curtis Stevens, a guy that I was sparring, knocked him out early and I thought it would be an easy fight.”
He went on to say that he found it easy to hit Johnson’s head and that he was headhunting too much, even though his trainer Jim Higgins told him that he would end the fight by working the body.
Monaghan picked up a cut on his right eye from an accidental head butt that required four stitches. He will now take a month off from contact work to let it heal properly.
There are tentative plans for another fight in August, but Monaghan can take a well-earned break as his stock continues to rise in the 175 pound division.