CIARAN Boyle lifted the Irish kickboxing title in style on Saturday night when knocking current champ Johnny Kerr in just two short rounds.
Fighting at Stangmore Park in Dungannon, Boyle had the home boy on the ropes from the first bell. A few well placed body shots had Kerr reeling early on and it was all over when 34-year-old Boyle landed a killer roundhouse kick in the second.
Despite more than two decades of Martial Arts experience under his belt, this was Boyle’s first crack at an Irish belt. The Strabane man only returned to the sport in 2008 after almost a decade out of the kickboxing arena altogether.
His weekend win was made all the more impressive given the fact it was Kerr’s third defence of his title. Boyle says he is now looking forward to a shot at the Five Nations title and then the British crown later this year.
Speaking after bringing home the belt, he put his victory down to hard work, grit and a strong corner team.
“I only started back kickboxing five years ago but I did box in America for a couple of years under world champion Rory Bussey. He had me sparring in Joe Frasier’s gym and you never really lost that experience. It stays with you.
“Recently I put my head down again, changed my diet, cut out all the negatives and just got myself back into shape. So I’ve been feeling the benefits of that for a while now.
“I’ve always known I was capable of securing a title and it was just a matter of biting the bullet and going for it. I was given my shot after a fight last month and I knew I had to grab it.
“I’m delighted and now I want another title before the end of the year. I’m certain I can do it because I’m in as good a shape as I have been for a very long time.”