Lamont Roach TKOs Teak-Tough Feargal McCrory in a Homecoming Title Defense


By Arne K. Lang

Lamont Roach Jr captured the WBA 130-pound world title in Las Vegas last November with a split decision over Hector Garcia. Tonight he made his first title defense with Northern Ireland’s Feargal McCrory, a New York-based southpaw, in the opposite corner. The venue was a 4,200-seat arena in Washington DC, the city where Roach was born.

It was a successful homecoming for Roach who lives in the DC bedroom community of Upper Marlboro, Maryland and hadn’t fought in the DC area since 2017. McCrory was teak-tough, but simply out-gunned. He lasted into the eighth round before his corner mercifully threw in the towel.

In round three, Roach, who improved to 25-1-1 (10 KOs) caught McCrory off-balance and strafed him with a left hook. McCrory’s gloves touched the canvas, thereby dictating a count. In next round, Roach scored two more knockdowns, both the result of left hooks to the liver. But the Irishman never stopped trying to win and fought Roach on even terms over the next two frames.

In round seven, Roach re-asserted his dominance and he staggered McCrory on several occasions in round eight to secure the stoppage. The official time was 2:51. It was the first pro loss for the Belfast lad, now 16-1.

In his post-fight interview, Roach expressed an interest in a unification fight with WBO 130-pound belt-holder Emanuel Navarrete who was upset in his most recent match but has never lost as a junior lightweight.


Heavy-handed Guatemalan KO artist Lester Martinez was extended the distance, but delivered arguably the best performance of his career with a lopsided 10-round decision over Boston-based Ecuadorian Carlos Gongora. Martinez (18-0, 15 KOs), rocked Gongora on numerous occasions and nearly took him out in the final round.

The 35-year-old Gongora (22-3) is a two-time Olympian whose dreams of appearing in a third were dashed two months ago when he was defeated in an Olympic qualifying tournament in Italy.


In a 10-round lightweight affair, Mexican spoiler Rene Tellez Giron stopped England’s Alex Dilmaghani after seven one-sided rounds. Dilmaghani was never knocked down, but suffered a lot of damage, including an apparent broken nose, before the referee decided that he had seen enough.

Giron improved to 19-4 (13 KOs). Dilmaghani, who had answered the bell for only 14 rounds since coming up short in a 12-round barnburner for the European super featherweight title in 2020, falls to 20-3-1 in what was potentially his final pro fight.

In a zesty 8-round bantamweight fight, Rianna Rios, a transplanted Texan who trains with Lamont Roach in Upper Marlboro, stepped up in class and won a hard-earned unanimous decision over Spanish globetrotter Mary Romero. Rios improved to 8-0 (1) in her first match against an opponent with a winning record. Romero declined to 10-6. All six of her losses have come against opponents who were undefeated when they fought her.

The judges had it 79-72 and 78-73 twice. There were no knockdowns, but Romero had a point deducted in round four, apparently for leading with her head, a curious call by the local referee.

The show was co-promoted by ProBox founder Garry Jonas and the champion’s father Lamont Roach Sr. and was live-streamed on the ProBox YouTube channel.