Dunne rounds off historic day with WBA title


Dublin boxer Bernard Dunne knocked out Ricardo Cordoba out in the 11th round of his world title challenge fight in Dublin last night to become the new WBA super-bantam weight champion.

It took the best part of 11 rounds to seal victory over Ricardo Cordoba, a man who arrived in Dublin with a list of victories as long as his reach. He was supposed to be too good for Neilstown’s finest, out of his league even, but Dunne sent him crashing to the canvas four times.

The 29-year-old also hit the deck - twice in the fifth round - but picked himself off the floor both times, spurred on by his unwavering belief and a 9,000 strong crowd whose doubts had been laid to rest when, in the third round, he sent the champion staggering across the ring into a heap with the first of countless accurate left hooks.

Dunne was not the number one challenger prior to the first bell, far from it, but after it there was nobody else but Cordoba between him and the WBA super-bantamweight belt. When the latter was floored for the third time in the 11th by a fierce left uppercut, it was all his.

His opponent had been up by at least four rounds on the judge’s scorecards but left the ring horizontal and receiving oxygen. Mercifully, dehydration was the diagnosis for the Panamanian.

Cordoba, ahead on the scorecards, must have been praying for time to intervene. His jabs were tired and his hooks wayward. The 11th round proved the decisive one as Dunne floored Cordoba three times to claim the title. The dethroned champion left the ring on a stretcher.

Dunne was embraced by trainer Harry Hawkins and saluted the crowd from his perch on the ropes but the celebrations were tempered by his concern for his opponent, who was already surrounded by medical staff.

“Champion of the world.” Four words Bernard Dunne has dreamt of hearing precede his name, though not long ago he could have been forgiven for thinking it would never happen. Many did think that, many thought he was fortuitous to have even got the chance, but regardless of what was thought and what was said, he got it. And he took it.