Heavyweight Tom Hardwick (1-0) beat Derek Walker (1-5) at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City last Thursday night by TKO in the third round of their fight.
It was almost the perfect night for the Dubliner, but the win was tempered by a cut he picked up in an awkward fall with Walker that will almost certainly rule him out of his next scheduled appearance on June 24.
Hardwick, 6’2”, weighed in at 212 pounds for the fight and was led into the ring by the recently retired Derry middleweight John Duddy and promoter Jim Foley to the sounds of an Irish piper.
Walker, who was four inches taller and 32 pounds heavier than Hardwick, was waiting for him in the ring.
However, Hardwick was not in the least bit intimidated by the massive size of his adversary and charged out at the bell, landing an overhand right that set the tone for the fight.
Hardwick never let his opponent settle and kept peppering him with body shots that kept him on the back foot.
In the second stanza, Hardwick tried to connect with a left hook, but his target was so big that he had to stretch up, causing him to lose his balance and slip on one occasion.
The two clashed in one exchange and both tumbled to the canvas. In the collision, Walker's elbow nicked Hardwick on the right eyebrow and opened a cut that would require four stitches afterwards.
The 26-year-old Hardwick continued the pressure in the third round and drove Walker into the blue corner with a left to the body and right hook combination. A barrage of unanswered punches caused Walker to take a knee, and referee Wayne Kelly decided that he had seen enough and waived off the fight with 1:01 gone in the round.
“He was in control,” said trainer Grant Seligson of his charge. "The guy was awkward, he was a big guy and we didn’t want to get caught by him.” Seligson went on the say that they would work to make things “cleaner” for the next fight.
“I caught him flush with an overhand right hand at the start and that made him reluctant to throw punches after that,” said Hardwick after the fight.
“He was leaning back the whole time and I had to stretch up to reach him. I fell into him and he came up with his elbow and caught me.”
The Irish Voice caught up with Jim Foley on Monday to find out the latest on the injury.
“It looks like we won’t be able to fight on June 24,” says Foley.
“Tom is back in back in the gym today (Monday), and he can do all his work except for sparring. He is happy with how the fight went but a little disappointed that he might not be able to go on June 24.
“I am already looking at a few things in July. If we don’t go in June then we will go in July,” added Foley.
Old World Boxing will still make its promotional debut on June 24, and Foley already has a few fights made for the night.
“The show will go on,” he added. For more details visit www.oldworldboxing.com.