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Liam Alford: “If I feel I can catch him in the first round and get him out of there I may as well!"

Alford retains world title with first round knockout

LIAM Alford retained his WKA world light welterweight title in Wexford on Saturday night, knocking out French challenger Julien Letellier early on.

On Monday Liam said he was “over the moon” with the result, which keeps the door open for a possible future defence in his home town.

He said it had been an early knockout, although he hadn’t planned to exert much pressure in the early stages.

“It was one minute and fifty seconds of the first round. We didn’t know too much about him, so the plan was to go out, suss him out for the first round, see what he’s got. Then start to capitalise and land some shots.

“But I went out in the first round and I could see the opportunity and I was thinking why would I wait? If I feel I can catch him in the first round and get him out of there I may as well!

“The plan for the first round was to see what he’d got, because it was a 12 round fight there was loads of time, but I caught him with one or two shots and I could see he was hurt so I said I’d try and get him out of there.

“I’m delighted, I wasn’t planning it, we weren’t planning on knocking him out in the first round because you could gas yourself out and get caught yourself. But I saw the opportunity and said I’d take it.”

He was pleased with the performance and the result, and feels he is continually improving as a fighter.

“I wanted to go out and show my skills. Every fight we’re getting 50% better, because every day we’re getting 1% better in training. I just want to be as active as I can, have as many fights as I can and show everyone why I’m a professional world champion.”

He will be back in action quite shortly, but his world championship won’t be on the line.

“Actually we’re fighting in Scotland in three weeks. That’s another reason I’m glad I got it over in the first round, so I wasn’t too tired or injured.

“The fight on Saturday night was kickboxing and in Scotland it’s K1, it’s slightly different and it’s nothing got to do with my world title.

“It’s a global tournament, it’s a four-man competiton in Scotland so to win it outright it’s two fights on the one night.

“There’s a four-man that was on in Ireland, there’s the one in Scotland that I’m entering, there’s one in Mexico, one in Columbia and in China. All the winners of those four men go into a last 16 in November.”

A title defence generally leaves room for a little R and R, but not this time.

“We’re going to go straight back into training, thankfully I didn’t pick up any injuries. I’m straight back into training and will be keeping the head down for the next three weeks,” he concluded.

About Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.

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