Scarborough boxer Shaun Ireland was in impressive form as he beat Qasim Hussain at the Doncaster Dome on Saturday night.
The former Westway featherweight had to dig deep in just his second professional fight after a late change of opponent following an issue with Scotsman Michael Stupart’s medical forms.
Hussain offered a completely different challenge to Ireland from his debut success against Joe Beedon at the same venue earlier this year.
Giving up the advantage in both weight and reach, Ireland set about establishing his sharp and accurate jab, while following up with a solid left hook on numerous occasions.
Hussain wasn’t there to make up the numbers and had success of his own and Ireland was forced to bite down on his gumshield and get to work.
The second round was a much closer affair with the game Hussain launching raids of his own, while Ireland maintained a composure and maturity belying his age and lack of experience in the pro ranks.
Hussain was clearly hunting the body of Ireland and he enjoyed some more joy in the third, but Ireland, roared on by a vocal and sizeable contingent from Scarborough, took his opponent’s best and battled back with combinations to body and head of his own.
Hussain knew he needed the stoppage in the fourth and final round and used all the tricks in the book to drag Ireland into a slugging match, one numerous occasions inviting Ireland in while goading his fans watching on from the ringside.
Ireland refused to take the bait and maintained his work behind the stiff jab with the rapid combinations following after.
Hussain, sensing he was out of the contest, was warned by the referee after holding down his opponent and digging in an illegal blow to the ribs of the Scarborough man, while he also made contact with his head in the final round, much to the annoyance of Ireland.
The referee awarded Ireland the 40-37 win, much to the delight of the travelling support.
Ireland will enjoy easier nights in the professional career, showing a good chin and resolve in addition to the fast hands and footwork he showcased during his comfortable debut earlier this year.
The former Westway man is back in action at the same venue on Saturday November 28.