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Dublin: 7 °C Saturday 23 February, 2019
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Ray Moylette climbs off the canvas to get Mayo's big week off to a solid start

The Islandeady light-welterweight moves to 6-0 as a professional following a war in Connecticut.

IT MIGHT WELL be the biggest week in Mayo sporting history as footballers male and female do battle for All-Irish supremacy this Sunday and next, and Islandeady’s former continental conqueror did his part to get to party started at Foxwood Resort Casino, Connecticut, on Saturday night.

‘Sugar’ Ray Moylette tasted the canvas for the first time as a professional en route to an enthralling split-decision victory over two-time Michigan State Golden Gloves champion Donte Bryant [now 1-3].

After a tentative opener in which Moylette walked off some solid early work by his adversary, the westerner was almost levelled by a counter-right over the top by the American in the second, doing well to peel himself off the deck and climb back onto wobbly legs.

Moylette came to his senses midway through the second having seemingly shaken off the first knockdown he has ever endured as a professional, but wilted once more toward the bell having absorbed countless right uppercuts through the guard and cuffing hooks amidst relentless pressure from Bryant.

He steadied himself in the third and did some damage of his own in the fourth, rocking his 28-year-old opponent with a ferocious combination which sent Bryant staggering towards the ropes.

Moylette edged a closer fifth, meaning it all came down to the final round. Moylette wasn’t in the mood to leave an absorbing and close contest in the hands of the judges, letting loose on Bryant who spent the bones of the last two minutes staggering around the ring.

The former European amateur champion’s pursuit would end with Bryant backed to the ropes, shipping heavy punishment but surviving admirably, the final bell perhaps saving him from a first stoppage defeat.

Instead, the Kalamazoo puncher was on the wrong end of a split decision for his third outing on the trot, with two of the judges scoring a thriller 57-56 in favour of the Mayo man stood beside him with his arm raised, the other 58-55 to Bryant.

Moylette remains undefeated, moving to 6-0 with two wins coming by way of stoppage.

The 27-year-old, draped in a Mayo flag as he celebrated a close victory, is scheduled to return to the ring on 30 September in Boston.

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