Devine delivers on long-awaited return to ring

Michael Devine won on his return to the ring
Michael Devine won on his return to the ring

Luton boxer Michael Devine returned to the ring with a comprehensive 40-36 points win on Saturday night.

It was yet another televised appearance for Devine, this time on ITV Box Office on the George Groves versus Jamie Cox undercard at the SSE Arena in Wembley.

Devine, who hadn’t boxed since securing his second Southern Area title in December last year, was in the best shape of his career as he took on Worcester’s Michael Mooney (8-38-1).

As the first round began, Devine was up on his toes and began to walk down 
Mooney and find his range.

Mooney took some heavy body shots and winced as Devine piled on the pressure and cut off the ring.

In the second, Devine began to move up through the gears and an array of uppercuts and body shots forced Mooney to bite down on his gumshield.

The third saw the Worcester man attempt to take the fight to Devine, but the Luton fighter’s patience and maturity saw him avoid being drawn into the all-out war Mooney wanted.

Instead Devine used his ring craft to frustrate his opponent, at one point making him miss with some excellent head movement which almost sent the lunging Mooney over the ropes to loud cheers from over 200 travelling Devine fans.

In the final round, Mooney sensed the fight slipping away and chose to goad Devine.

But the two time Southern Area champion chose to pick off Mooney with another flurry of body shots and a crunching headshot that sent him across the ring.

To Mooney’s credit, he held on to the final bell, but the referee scored every round to Devine who has now chalked up his 16th professional win (16-5-1).

Speaking afterwards, Devine, nursing a visibly swollen hand, said: “He was a tough kid and I hurt my hand in the second with a headshot, and he made it very awkward for me.

“I didn’t feel like I performed the best, but my coach and corner were very impressed with the win.

“I’m really glad to get the rounds in against a durable opponent, and shake off the ring rust.”

Devine hopes to be back out in the coming months and wants to continue his journey towards his lifelong aim, winning the British title.