Ireland’s delight after battling to Hussain win

Shaun Ireland v Qasim Hussain. Pictures by Dean Woolley.
Shaun Ireland v Qasim Hussain. Pictures by Dean Woolley.

Scarborough’s Shaun Ireland was delighted following his second win as a professional against the tough Qasim Hussain.

Ireland had to tear up his gameplan just a few days before the fight after a late change of opponent, Hussain stepping in for Scotsman Michael Stupart.

After his 40-37 victory following four pulsating rounds, Ireland said: “It was a good learning fight, he really pressured me.

“I was expecting to be having to go and do all the work like on my debut, but he came forward for four rounds, which was good for me.

“It was a good learning fight for me.”

The change of opponent didn’t help Ireland as he’d been prepping for a dust up with the experienced Stupart.

Ireland added: “I’ve been watching videos of Stupart and didn’t have a chance to look at this guy which didn’t help as I was going into the unknown.

“I was very surprised by his hand speed, he was decent.

“But I got the rounds in and got the win and that’s all that matters.

“I’ve had two very different opponents now and that is only going to help me going forward as a pro.”

Ireland was happy with his performance as he kept the game Hussain at length behind a slick jab, which he followed up on numerous occasions with a wicked left hook to body and head.

“I’m happy - I want to get the rounds in,” added Ireland.

“I wanted to work behind my jab - professional boxing is all about establishing the jab.

“I’m learning with every round and every fight.

“I’ve had two completely different opponents now and it’s great, I’ve been boxing ages but the pro game is totally different.

“It’s tough but I’m loving it.”

A vocal travelling crowd roared Ireland on throughout the four rounds and the former Westway man was quick to thank them.

He added: “The support was brilliant, I can’t knock it.

“I heard them all and it really helps when you’re in a tough fight like that so I have to thank them all for coming down to support me.”

Ireland’s coaches George Rhodes Snr and Alun Edwards were delighted with their man’s efforts in what was clearly a tougher night’s work for Ireland than on his debut.

Rhodes Snr said: “He had to dig deep against a tough guy.

“He came with ambition and went for the win, and he was an entertainer, which always makes for a good fight.

“There are things to work on in the gym, but on the whole Shaun’s done very well in there and has put in a very good performance.”

Hussain tried to goad Ireland into a war in the last round as he gestured towards his fans, but the Scarborough man kept his cool.

Edwards added: “Shaun’s not stupid and he knew what Hussain was up to there.

“He was a surprisingly good inside fighter which we didn’t expect, so he had to stay on his toes.

“It was a good performance from Shaun.”