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Seanie Monaghan wins at MSG

Long Beach's Seanie Monaghan overcame a cut above his left eye to pound out an 8-round decision over Roger Cantrell. Videojournalist: Robert Cassidy (Jan. 19, 2013)

In his first fight since his hometown was devastated by Superstorm Sandy, Seanie Monaghan overcame a terrible cut along his left eyebrow to pound out a unanimous eight-round decision over Roger Cantrell Saturday at Madison Square Garden's Theater. The Long Beach resident improved to 17-0 with 10 knockouts.

The Monaghan fight was part of a title fight tripleheader. Also Saturday, Roman Martinez boxed a 12-round draw with Juan Carlos Burgos to retain his WBO super featherweight title; Glennady Golovkin scored a 7th-round TKo of Gabe Rosada to retain his WBA and IBO middleweight belts and Mikey Garcia won an eight-round technical decision to win the WBO featherweight title from Orlando Salido.

It was the fourth appearance at MSG for Monaghan, 31, including one bout in the main arena. He trains at the Freeport PAL.

"I'm still buzzing off it," said Monaghan. "The crowd means everything to me. I know I had to put on a show for the people. That's a big motivation."

Given the destrution Sandy caused in Long Beach, it was a pleasant distraction for a community that comes out to support Monaghan. The fighter said he sold 1,000 tickets and dozens more residents purchased walk-ups. If not for those fans, Monaghan may have never stepped into the ring on Saturday.

According to Monaghan, he weighed in at the contracted weight of 177.5 pounds, but Cantrell was 184.5. After Cantrell rehydrated, he could have been as heavy as 200 pounds.

"I noticed the guy could punch," said Monaghan. "Even with his jab, I felt his power."

The scorecards were 77-75, 78-74 and 79-73 in favor of Monaghan. And while Cantrell was sturdy, the fight didn't seem that close.

"I thought Seanie looked fine," said his trainer Joe Higgins. "We took this fight because of the continuity, to stay busy. I thought Seanie won just about every round. I'm pleased."

So were his fans, who chanted, "Seanie, Seanie, Seanie," throughout the fight.

"I don't want to make excuses," said Monaghan. "We had a good training camp. It started out slow. I lost my car to the storm. So just getting to the gym was stressful. We had no heat in the gym, so I had a harder time making weight. I sold 1,000 tickets, I had family in from Ireland. I needed the fight to happen. It would have been bad business not to fight. My fans mean everything to me. I had to give them a fight."

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