Any questions that hovered over Irish prospect Bernard Dunne were silenced last night in the twenty six year old's hometown of Dublin where he thrashed former titlist Esham Pickering for the vacant European Super Bantamweight crown on a Brian Peters promotion.
The tone was set from the start as Dunne put his opponent under a hailstorm of offense that had Pickering covering up and then reeling before the first round was finished. The man from Newark, England refused to fold however, enjoying moments of success in the later rounds but was never able to use the awkward, slippery Ingle Camp style to his advantage.
In the end, Dunne's early career molding in America was on clear display as his constant movement and angle of attack was more than the relatively stationary Pickering could cope with and the Irishman was awarded the decision by scores of 117-111 (twice) and 115-113 to become the new European Super Bantamweight Champion.
A contest with Michael Hunter, who voluntarily gave up the European belt for an unsuccessful IBF title bid against Canada's Steve Molitor this past Friday, could be in the future for Dunne and could serve as the Dublin man's final test before moving onto world class level.