Casey and Magee lose title fights


Boxing:Willie ‘Big Bang’ Casey’s world title dream lasted less than three minutes last night as the Limerick super-bantamweight was stopped in the opening round by Guillermo Rigondeaux in Dublin.

Casey had already been knocked to the canvas three times before the referee stepped in just two minutes and 38 seconds into the WBA super-bantamweight contest.

After a punishing body shot, Rigondeaux stepped up the pace and floored Casey again with an uppercut that left the Limerick man reeling. The 29-year-old was soon back on his feet but the fight was waved off as the relentless Rigondeaux struck again with another burst of punches.

On a bad night for Irish fighters, Lucian Bute stopped Brian Magee in the 10th round to retain his IBF super-middleweight title in Montreal.

Bute, born in Romania and based in Montreal, had already knocked down the Belfast fighter in the sixth and seventh rounds and finished him off with an uppercut to the chin.

The 31-year-old's victory in the battle of the southpaws secured a seventh successful defence of the belt he won in 2007 and improved his record to 28-0, 23KOs.

For Magee, it was only the second time in his career he had failed to go the distance. After a fairly even first five rounds, Bute raised his game and put Magee down with a quick left to the stomach.

The 35-year-old recovered well but was felled again in similar fashion in the following round and from then on it was only a matter of time before the knockout punch arrived.

It came with a blow to the head in the 10th, sending Magee to his knees again and forcing Chicago referee Pete Podgorski to stop the fight.