Scarborough’s Shaun Ireland claimed a comfortable points success in his professional debut against Joe Beeden at Doncaster Dome tonight.
Ireland managed to put the firts-fight nerves and the huge travelling support to one side as he totally outclassed the tough Beeden.
The former Westway man took a couple of rounds to adapt to his first outing in the paid ranks, taking a couple of left hooks after landing with shots of his own.
Despite looking a touch edgy, Ireland cruised the first round after landing some snappy left hooks on the savvy Beeden, who has 26 professional fights under his belt.
Ireland started the second in positive fashion, finding the target with a sharp straight right, which was followed up by a superb hook to the body in the opposition corner.
The Scarborough man still looked nervy though and had to take a couple himself as Beeden looked for the one-punch finish himself.
As the second wore on, Ireland started to show his class and superior hand speed as he landed with several three and four punch combinations that unsettled Beeden.
If the second round was an improvement, the third was another huge step up in class as Ireland really eased into a rythym, and a huge straight right swiftly followed by an accurate right hook rocked the Swindon man momentarily.
Ireland also started to work the body more regularly in the third round as Beeden visibly tired, and much to the delight of the 120-plus travelling supporters from Scarborough, started to hunt his opponent down in search of the stoppage.
Beeden showed all his ring guile to stay out of harms way and had to use all his experience in the fourth and final round as Ireland started to load up on his shots in hope of an impressive finish to his professional debut.
Despite landing a stinging left hook and a big overhand right, Ireland couldn’t find the stoppage he was looking for and the fight went to referee Mark Lyson’s scorecard.
Ireland was deservedly awarded every rounf and took a 40-36 victory to kick off his professional career.
There are things to work on in the gym before his next outing, but Ireland showed superb promise in his first professional bout.
Typically a counter-puncher in the amateurs, it took Ireland a couple of rounds to get on the front foot and set the tone of the fight.
If the Scarborough man can generate the same support going forward, there is no reason why he can’t progress quickly up the featherweight rankings.