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16th Mar 2019

Donegal’s Joe Duffy falls to unanimous decision defeat in comeback fight

The better man won on the night

Darragh Murphy

The tears that flowed down Marc Diakiese’s face showed just what it meant to him to get a win over Joe Duffy.

Donegal’s Duffy had not fought in over a year and a half when he made the walk to the Octagon in London on Saturday night.

‘Irish Joe’ would have hoped to rebound from his 2017 defeat to James Vick in New York with a successful outing closer to home, when he met Diakiese in the centre of the O2 Arena.

In what was excitedly touted as a flashy kickboxer against a technically sound former pro-boxer, Diakiese dominated proceedings and snapped his losing skid by winning every round on every judge’s scorecard on what was his 26th birthday.

Duffy never got close to mounting his desired offence and for the first time as a professional mixed martial artist, the Donegal man suffered back-to-back defeats.

Diakiese not only enjoyed the better of the striking exchanges but the Brit looked significantly stronger whenever the pair would lock up.

While the result was in little doubt when the final buzzer sounded, Diakiese waited until the official announcement before he broke down in floods of tears and could hardly bring himself to form a sentence, such was the outpouring of emotion.

In the meeting of two men who were both in desperate need of a victory, it was Diakiese’s night and Duffy, ever the class act, was the first to applaud and congratulate his opponent.