Victory at Elland Road keeps Leeds boxer Mick Learmonth on track for a ‘perfect 10’ winning run

Mick Learmonth celebrates his victory at Elland Road. PIC: Jacob KilbrideMick Learmonth celebrates his victory at Elland Road. PIC: Jacob Kilbride
Mick Learmonth celebrates his victory at Elland Road. PIC: Jacob Kilbride
MICK LEARMONTH crowned his debut headline status with a dominant second-round stoppage over Jan Hrazdira at the Elland Road Pavilion.

It’s the third knockout victory of Learmonth’s fledgling career and he goes into 2020 with a professional record standing at nine wins from as many professional fights.

Leeds-born Learmonth played amateur rugby league at Hunslet Warriors and was a junior at Warrington Wolves and Huddersfield Giants before injury ended that career path.

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He turned to boxing and, it is understood, will be aiming for a 10th successive win back at Elland Road in March.

“This is a great way to finish the year,” Learmonth reflected.

“I’ve had a decent 2019 and to finish by headlining one of Mark Bateson’s shows and winning by knockout, I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

“I caught him with a lovely right-upper-cut.

“He came in to throw an over-hand-right and I caught him with the uppercut and his eye just split.

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“I could feel the shot through my glove too and I knew that it had landed nicely.

“I stayed patient and caught him with a strong straight left and that was it, game over.

“It’s always nice to get the knockouts on your record.

“I think, for me, that’s the best that I’ve ever felt in the ring. It’s definitely the fittest, strongest and sharpest that I’ve ever felt.

“It’s also the most confident that I’ve ever been too.

Only once before had Learmonth won as quickly as this and he got off to a very fast start.

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The opening round saw Learmonth boxing behind his stiff jab and his sharp three-punch combination in the final seconds was his best work of the first three minutes during which he barely took a shot.

The Leeds fighter was caught off guard by a Hrazdira right but he replied with a quick-fire attack on the body of the Czech Republican.

Then, from nowhere, Learmonth struck with a right uppercut and, sooner after, a straight left, with Hrazdira immediately turning away and towards his corner with his right eye firmly shut.

It was difficult to see how exactly the injury had occurred but referee Andy Brook had no other option than to wave off the contest 92 seconds into the second round.

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Learmonth has linked up with conditioners Elite Step, meaning that heart-rate monitors are used during his training sessions.

As a result, his rest days, intensity during sessions and runs are all structured based upon the evidence.

“Me and P (Padraic McDonagh, trainer) have changed our training plan.

“It’s all about experimenting and seeing what works for you.

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“We’ve changed our sparring plans and training plans and I think that it’s worked a treat.

“I’m working with Reece at Elite Step and it’s taken things on a whole new level.

“I feel a lot more energised, a lot stronger and full of energy.

“This fight was the first upon this new training plan and I think you can see the effects.

“I do feel like I’ve found exactly what works for me.”

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