Prizefighter finalist, Michael Devine 13(4)-2(1)-1 took five minutes out to reflect on the tournament action from last weekend.
The plucky 25-year-old from Luton reached the final after beating Danny Connor 11-9(1)-2 and Lee Martin 7-2(2)-0 en route and scoring two first round knockdowns to boot
On the overall contest, Devine reflected, “Yeah I think I done well, a lot of people wrote me off before it so I’m pleased, and I know that I’m being talked about now. Obviously I’m disappointed that I didn’t win, I got beat by the better man over three rounds on the night but I’ll be back from it stronger.”
Devine, a two-weight champion commented on his first fight in the quarter-finals with Danny Connor, their second meeting to date, “To be honest, I was disappointed with my performance against Danny Connor. I caught him good but if I’ve had got him on the chin then I don’t think that he would have got back up from it.”
The warring pair met in the same venue in September both vying for the vacant British Masters Gold lightweight title only for their ten-rounder to be halted prematurely when a clash of heads left Connor with a cut that he couldn’t continue with.
Both men expressed their desire to meet in Matchroom Sport’s eight-man, one night tournament and their wish was duly granted as their names were pulled out of the hat live on Sky Sports News by Johnny Nelson and Adam Smith.
This match-up was meant to settle the score but fans have been divided in opinion over the result, leaving the door wide open for a deciding fight between the adversaries. Many object that Connor outpointed Devine in rounds two and three and claim that the scoring should have been even. Certainly round two was a 'Connor round' but it's questionable if he did enough in round three to warrant the draw. See the full fight here...
Devine has not ruled out the possibility of a trilogy, stating, “I got the decision so there was no robbery there. If there’s a big title then we can get it on.”
Essex boy, Lee Martin triumphed over Craig Whyatt on a majority points decision to face off with Devine in the semi-final.
Devine was fortunate enough to be able to study his opponent before the bell rang for their encounter, “I wanted to use my boxing skills but I saw him in the first fight and how he was wide open so I knew that if I landed then I’d get him out of there. So far, it’s at 36k views on YouTube already,” said the big punching Devine.
The Luton lad met with the dark horse of the competition in the last stage of the tournament, both vying for the £32k prize over the final three rounds.
A relatively unknown commodity, Jono Carroll upset the two favourites en route to the last stage of the competition, outscoring former British and European champion, Stephen Foster Jr. in the quarter-finals and former Prizefighter winner, Gary Buckland in the semi-finals.
Devine reflected on the final with humility in defeat, “I’ve got nothing but congratulations for Carroll, he’s a cracking fighter and I think that I gave him a run for his money in the fight.”
The winning 22-year-old Irishman, Jono Carroll headed into the tournament as a three-fight novice, but has now well and truly burst onto the domestic scene after taking a unanimous verdict against Devine with scores of 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28.
Carroll unloaded clusters of punches in the first round, catching his opponent with a decent right, and then a looping left hook.
Trying to stem the tide, Devine rattled home punches to the ribs in the second. The Dublin man known as the Celtic Warrior stood his ground, firing back defiantly, but earned a ticking off from the referee for punching on the break.
Both men swapped punches in the final round as a gruelling night reached its conclusion, but Carroll applied the finishing touches with a crisp right counter. Credit was due to both men for giving it their all and finishing the night on a thrilling spectacle for the fight fans enjoyment.
At ringside, Spencer Oliver gave credit to Devine for the valiant effort displayed, “Let’s not take nothing away from Michael Devine, I thought that he put on a brilliant performance, no one expected him to reach the final, if I’m honest. In that final, he tried didn’t he? He gave it everything and it made for an excellent final.”
Devine left the tournament with an extra two wins and one KO on his ledger and a cheque for £16k, a cause for much celebration, “I went back to the hotel with the other fighters and had a good time with them all. I’ll hopefully look for something bigger like the English title next. I think I’m ready and I showed everyone what I can do and that I’ve got heart,” said Devine.
Watch the final here...
To follow Michael ‘Chunky’ Devine on Twitter click here @chunkydevine
Michael would like to thank his sponsors, Hills Physical Development
, DMC Groundworks
, M and S Water Services
, The Fresh Prints Ltd.
, Boxfit UK
, Adam ‘the Skin Carver’ Carrick
, Impact Personal Training
an d PR Manager, Tim Rickson