Rooney steering Lindsay for a title shot after impressive stoppage win

Martin ‘Mac Man’ Lindsay (9st 5lb 2oz) opened the Kings Hall show in a six rounder with Irish Super Featherweight Champion Mickey Coveney (9st 4lb 6oz) and it was a winning return for the Belfast fighter as he “exercised the demons” - returning to the Balmoral venue for the first time since suffering his only loss.

Unlike his last performance under the lights in the iconic Kings Hall against John Simpson, Lindsay fought a very disciplined boxing performance and the Immaculata fighter used the opportunity to showcase improvements made in training, most notably – body shots.

Lindsay boxed well in opener, efficiently picking his shots and moving around the ring against the aggressive southpaw. As the fight progressed, Lindsay stepped inside to bend his knees and dig in vicious left hooks to the body. Coveney, bobbing and weaving to try and get inside of Lindsey also went body hunting and had moderate success in the second. However, Lindsey was finding his range as the fight progressed and followed up another scoring left hook body assault with a flush right hook upstairs that momentarily pushed back Coveney. In the third, Lindsey’s best work again is to the body - as Coveney struggles to find his range – missing wildly with attempted head combinations.

In the fourth, Lindsey stepped in with flush counter right to wobble Coveney, who took several unsteady steps back on his unsteady legs. Lindsay took a quick glance at the referee before following up with a flurry that was abruptly interrupted by Referee Howard Foster for a perfectly timed stoppage at 1.13 of the fourth round. Lindsay progresses to 19-1 but more importantly has finally got some momentum back into his career after an extended hiatus from the ring.

Speaking to members of the press in his dressing room afterwards, Lindsay showed that he has reflected on last performance at the Kings Hall were he suffered his only pro defeat at the hands of John Simpson. Lindsay detailed what he needed to address from that defeat:

“I learned from the Simpson fight. I am a counter puncher, I am not a slugger, I can slug when I want to but it wouldn’t be the best aspect of my game. I am a counter puncher, I should stick to that first and bring other aspects into it – body punching and if I need to stand toe-to-toe – I will – I have proved that I can do it, but I will stick to what I am good at.”

“I exercised some of the demons from last year. It was weird coming back in again, my last defeat was here, so I wanted to not take any risks, but get the victory and try and look good too. That’s it, I have got it out of my system now and hopefully I can move onto another title shot and make amends for it properly.”

“I love fighting here in front of everyone, you do get an extra buzz, you see all the people, they see you out in the street and they want you to do well – and you want to fight to show them that you are doing well – to give them something to cheer about.”

Lindsay is going to take short holiday break to Turkey after his latest fight but will be back in the gym again when he returns, also revealed some of the reasons for his inactivity over the past year:

“I don’t feel as though there is any ring rust there because I have done a lot of sparring and I have never been out of the gym. I had wee bit of bad luck with my ankle which put me out of the gym for about two months, the summer came up and I got married and then the Rogan show got cancelled, but I was training for them.”

“But you do need the fights. It is easy saying that, but it is the adrenalin, the atmosphere leading up to it, the nerves and all – you have to deal with that, so the more fights you get the easier it becomes.”

On his opponent Mickey Coveney, Lindsay said:
“I knew he was a tough character and what he wants to do is get you on the ropes and once he does, he works. He is slow at the middle range. He was very sluggish in the jabs and the rights but I felt that when he was throwing them downstairs he was putting them into his shots, he landed one or two in and you could feel them – but I was expecting that in the fight.”

“I had tough training. I did a lot of rounds with Eamonn O’Kane, Alfredo ‘Fredo’ Meli and it paid off.”

Lindsay explained the finishing shot and the stoppage:
“I felt it connecting clean on. I sort of stopped a wee bit and I looked at the ref and as soon as I went in (the ref stopped the fight). I would say at that point, maybe Mickey could have went on but if I had have landed one more shot, then they would have said ‘why did the referee not stop it earlier’. You are not in the game to get seriously hurt so I think the referee done a good job tonight.”

Lindsay’s constant work to the body prior to the stoppage was also a positive for the Mac Man and improved body punching was honed in the gym:

“From the last fight I had in the Troxy (a points win against Maurycy Gojko) I have been working a lot on the body, I think that was something that I needed to improve on – from watching my previous fights I have always been a counter puncher, but haven’t really stepped inside to get the body shots on, because if you work the body it does slow them down.”

Lindsay is clearly very happy with the activity he has gained since signing with top manager John Rooney:

“That’s two fights in six weeks, I don’t think in my whole career I have had two fights in six weeks. Hopefully, all being well I will get back out again in September (Belfast).”

Lindsay has not signed for Matchroom but revealed that he has a verbal agreement:

“With Matchroom if they are running big shows, there is going to be two or three title shots in each bill – there is no reason why they can’t get me on one.”

Manager John Rooney echoed this and also added:

“There were offers there that came from America from Goldenboy, we were a contracted to fight for Matchroom on the 5th May. We were offered to fight Gary Russell Jr (19-0) in a ten rounder on the 21st April but we had already signed for this fight. In the meantime, Goldenboy asked me to get Gary Sykes for the Adrian Broner World Title fight and I brokered that deal.”

Rooney also added that a Martin Lindsay and Gary Russell Jr could be a fight down the line if there was a title on the line and if so, it would most likely entail Lindsay taking the fight in the US. However, Rooney, was adamant that Lindsay will be fighting for a title soon:

“We will be fighting for some sort of title before the end of the year, whether that is an international, British or European.”

Rooney also revealed that he is working with veteran Richard Williams (21-4-1) and confirmed that Williams will be making a comeback on Spencer Fearon’s show on the 2nd June. Rooney enthused that the former Commonwealth Champion Williams has been looking great in sparring and despite his age, he believes that Williams has always kept himself in great condition and can still make his mark.

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