Belfast Homecoming: Carroll stops Geraghty on Conlan card

Referee Robert Williams steps in to stop the contest between Jono Carroll (right) and Declan Geraghty
Referee Robert Williams steps in to stop the contest between Jono Carroll (right) and Declan Geraghty

Jono Carroll retained his IBF Inter-Continental Super Featherweight belt by stopping Declan Geraghty on Michael Conlan's Belfast Homecoming undercard.

Carroll dominated the second contest against his fellow Dubliner before the referee stepped in during the ninth.

It was the pick of the warm up fights at the SSE Arena before Conlan's bout against Adeilson Dos Santos.

Earlier, bantamweight Tyrone McCullagh recovered from a third round knock down to beat Joe Ham by a unanimous decision.

McCullagh took the vacant Celtic Super Bantamweight Title despite being knocked to the floor by a thundering right-hand shot from Ham in their 10-round contest.

The Derry fighter picked himself up off the canvas at the end of the third round to take a unanimous points verdict.

McCullagh showed impressive movement throughout to frustrate his opponent, who was left seeking a knock-out during the closing rounds.

But the home favourite, who was taken beyond six rounds for the first time, maintained his composure to see out the fight - winning by 97-92 on one card and taking the contest 98-92 from the other two judges.

Tyrone McCullagh celebrates with Republic of Ireland international James McClean
Tyrone McCullagh celebrates with Republic of Ireland international James McClean

In the penultimate fight before the feature contest, Carroll showed a relentless energy to overwhelm Geraghty in a thrilling fight.

The pair nearly came to blows in the build up to their fight after exchanging insults in the four years since Carroll had been awarded a win in their first meeting after Geraghty was disqualified for illegal use of his head, despite leading on the scorecards at the time.

Despite suffering a cut above his left eye in the first round, Carroll dominated the contest, which included a scintillating third round in which both fighters went toe-to-toe.

Referee Robert Williams stepped in with 47 seconds remaining of the ninth round to prevent any further punishment for a visibly tiring Geraghty, which sparked wild celebrations from Carroll and his corner.

Jono Carroll celebrates his ninth round win over Declan Geraghty

In a meeting between two unbeaten super lightweights, Englishman Johnny Coyle ended the unblemished record of Lewis Benson.

Coyle won a narrow decision by 96 points to 95 after a scrappy 10-round contest.

Scotsman Benson controlled the opening half of the bout but Coyle opened a cut above his opponent's left eye in the third round and grew stronger as the fight progressed.

The former Prizefighter extended his unbeaten record to 19-0-1, while Benson slipped to 10-1.

In the earlier bouts, welterweight Gary Corcoran scored a fifth round stoppage against Victor Ray Ankrah of Ghana while unbeaten bantamweight Sunny Edwards improved to 8-0 with a points win over Cristian Narvaez.

Belfast super middleweight Taylor McGoldrick continued the promising start to his pro career with a points win against Casey Blair.

Welterweight Lewis Crocker delighted the home fans with another early stoppage of his opponent - ending his contest against Adam Grabiec with a vicious body shot in the opening round to move to 6-0.

Irishman Gary Cully took a points win over Reynaldo Cajina of Nicaragua in their lightweight contest and Neslan Machado won his featherweight bout against Jose Aguilar.

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