It was another busy weekend of sport so we look at the top five sporting highlights, with Irish boxer Andy Lee topping the list.
Andy Lee KO
This is one that a lot of Irish people might have missed. Limerick boxer Andy Lee won the vacant NABF light middleweight belt in the early hours of Sunday morning after knocking out John Jackson in sensational fashion. Lee was back pedalling from the get go and was knocked down in the first round. He went into survival mode and had to defend an onslaught of punches throughout the fight, which he was losing on the scorecards.
Jackson’s dominance continued in the fifth round and the Virgin Island’s native was firing at will and had the Irishman in trouble against the ropes. Then came the moment that shocked the 21,000 fans inside Madison Square Garden. Lee landed a Hail Mary haymaker counter right on the button that sent Jackson crashing to the canvas in a candidate for Knockout of the Year.
Rafael Nadal makes history in Paris
World number one Rafael Nadal made history after winning his ninth French Open title after defeating Novak Djokovic 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4. It marked the Spaniard’s fifth successive Roland Garros tournament win which breaks the previous record he shared with Swedish tennis legend Bjorn Borg. Despite, a slow start which saw him lose the opening set, Nadal battled to a memorable victory and is hot on Roger Federer’s heels. Rafa needs just three more majors to equal the Swiss maestro’s all-time record of 17 major titles. Maria Sharapova won the Women’s tournament after a closely fought three setter against Simona Help.
Katie Taylor Queen of Europe
Irish Olmpic gold medallist heroine Katie Taylor took home a sixth consecutive European title in Bucharest on Saturday. Taylor is now on an incredible streak of 23 European wins after defeating France’s Estelle Mossely to bring home the title. It also marked the 16th consecutive major title for the Bray woman. Taylor put in a classy display in Romania and out-struck her opponent to claim the points victory.
Sky began its inaugural season of GAA coverage this weekend and fans all over the world were treated to high-octane action from Ireland’s national games. The Kilkenny hurling team sent out a message with a devastating 5-32 to 1-18 victory over Offaly which set a new scoring record in the championship. In football, Dublin overpowered Laois by 2-21 to 0-16 while Mayo defeated Roscommon by a single point in the Connacht championships.
Besnon Henderson finally finishes
The UFC held its first event in Albuquerque on Saturday night that will go down as one of the most memorable Fight Night’s of the year. Hometown heroes John Dodson and Diego Sanchez won their respective fights, albeit the latter in an extremely controversial split decision, but it was the performance of lightweight contender Benson Henderson that stole the show. Bendo submitted promising Dagestani Sambo master Rustam Khabilov via rear-naked choke in the fourth round. This marked the first time the American has won a fight by finishing his opponent in the UFC. He proved the haters wrong on Saturday night, as he has been criticised in the past for playing it safe to secure the victory.